Chris Christie Blames All But Himself
by Mary Sanchez
What kind of politician is
If you buy Christie's explanation, the
Christie insisted that he knew nothing of a vindictive plan to shut a couple lanes of traffic in
"I am who I am, but I am not a bully," Christie implored.
Do you believe that? Time will tell as more is uncovered.
Either way, it is instructive to note that even at this political low point, Christie spent more time bemoaning how he was lied to than empathizing with the thousands of
Christie has fired his deputy chief of staff and his former campaign manager, both people who would have been important players in his expected bid for the 2016
The deputy chief had sent an email "Time for some traffic problems in
The mayor of
For now, let's take the governor at his word that he had no idea what his inner circle of aides was doing. "What did I do wrong to have these folks think it was OK to lie to me?" he implored, rhetorically, at his presser.
Glad you asked, governor.
There is nothing new under the sun about retaliatory pettiness. It's common enough in politics, in the workplace and elsewhere.
An effective political executive ought to know what qualities to look for in his or her staff, including a baseline sense of morality and duty, and that executive should model those qualities as well. Power corrupts, as we all know, and it does so all the more quickly in an administration whose leader lacks self-control.
As the questions were first raised about the lane closings last September, Christie sarcastically brushed the contention aside. He even joked that he had personally laid the cones closing two lanes of traffic.
Yet the truth came out -- some of it, anyway -- thanks to checks and balances we Americans have to inquire into such baloney. A subpoena drew out the incriminating emails and texts. And while they are astonishing in what they say, the underlying reality is all too familiar.
Reporters who cover government officials for any length of time can bend your ear with titillating accounts of politicos and their testiness. They all have their peccadilloes, their small-minded grudges and peeves, their subjects that may not be mentioned.
It can be easy to conclude that we are governed by coddled and temperamental ignoramuses who won't lift a finger for the common good unless there's something in it for them. The phenomenon has spawned its own literary genre. Books such as "Double Down,"
It's fun to read about until you realize where the line gets crossed.
Governing has consequences. It's not just about you, governor, and your career and your ambitions and your style. It's about people who need their government to work -- people who, if their government doesn't hold its duties in sacred trust, could die in an ambulance in a traffic jam.
So did Christie's brash persona breed the disregard for the general public necessary to carry out the dirty tricks in
Neither explanation redounds to his credit, nor indicates his worthiness to serve in a higher office.