Chris Christie demands to know why nobody told him what everyone in his office is up to

Josh Marshall has the comprehensive liveblog reax to Chris Christie’s damage control presser this morning. I just want to highlight the key take-home from this exercise: you really do not want to work as a staffer for Chris Christie. The guy does not just throw you under the bus. He backs the bus over you a few times, pisses on the body, takes off and nukes the bus from orbit. The worst is that no sane person can believe that he had no idea what everyone in his personal and professional circle was up to, and when the story blew up over the course of months he never bothered to ask.

Some people think that Christie had to go big on the outrage, that he even did a credible job of it. I think that it all depends on whether his performance can pass the laugh test. Without even knowing what other communications have yet to come to light, and supposedly there are a lot, Christie comes awfully close to becoming a living punchline, a guy who will embody desperate non-credible ass-covering in political jokes long after his corporeal form disappears from the national stage.

***Update***

“I’m a very loyal guy. And I expect loyalty in return.”

If I were Bridget Ann Kelly, a performance like this would give me at least one reason to look forward to that criminal inquiry.

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188 replies
  1. 1
    chopper says:

    best part: “I never saw this as political retribution because I didn’t think he [the Fort Lee Mayor] did anything to us.”

    yeah, didn’t you just say that you only just now found out about this shit?

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    I wonder how much hush money this is costing Christie.

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m having a really hard time deciding what the hell Christie is aware of, both in his office and in his state.

  4. 4
    Violet says:

    He’s claiming he asked them and they lied to him. I WAS LIED TO!

  5. 5
    Violet says:

    Now he has the press laughing by saying “You think I want any traffic studies?” Ha ha ha ha. Fucking press.

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    @Corner Stone: He’s aware that there a bunch of political reporters asking him questions.

  7. 7
    maya says:

    You know what other big thing crashed and burned in New Jersey?

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    @Corner Stone: He’s clearly aware he’s fat because he got the lap band surgery.

  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    Pissy Christie is emerging.

  10. 10
    Violet says:

    Oooh…he’s pounding the podium. “He wasn’t on my radar screen! I’ve never heard Mayor Sokolich’s name at all before.” Yesterday on Chris Hayes, Sokolich said they’d “broken bread” together a few times.

  11. 11
    MazeDancer says:

    “David and I were not friends in high school”.

    Christie’s wanting to “clear up” that David Wildstein was not really his bro was close to pathetic.

    Christie is so in love with the sound of his own voice that he won’t stop the presser. There is a difference between going deep into it and moving forward and digging a deeper and deeper hole.

    A woman died because of this stunt. Even being nuked under the bus doesn’t keep you out of prison. David and Bridget will sing.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @Violet: There are apparently multiple photos of the two of them together.

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    “Why the hell is there gambling going on in this casino?!”

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:

    Dammit. Used the verbotten word meaning a place people go and wager.

  15. 15
    scav says:

    There is no here here! He said it before, and he’s having to say it again! He is so saddened by this! Not yet at the stage of anger, he’s aware of those stages, but he’s saddened! He knows nothing about any of this, he knows no one involved, he doesn’t in fact know that he doesn’t know if he knows them or not in a police lineup!

  16. 16
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    Maybe they just didn’t ask the question right. Or maybe, “Yeah, I probably closed the bridge lanes, in a drunken stupor…”

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @MazeDancer: And as a former prosecutor he should know better than to expound or answer anything he doesn’t have to.
    Really foolish at this point.

  18. 18
    Violet says:

    @dmsilev: Can’t find those photos on Google. Anyone got one?

  19. 19
    karen says:

    Doesn’t the “fact” that he had no idea of what was going on make him look incompetent? Or are people so desperate to forgive him that they’ll believe whatever he says?

    And somewhere in the ether…Romney is smirking.

  20. 20
    Eric U. says:

    @dmsilev: I would wonder what he would do to me in retribution should I talk. So far, we know there has been fairly extensive retribution against people who did things that Christie didn’t like. I’m guessing his staff knows of many more.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    Violet says:

    Aww…poor Christie..he’s embarrassed and humiliated “and that’s an awful way to feel.” So sad.

  23. 23
    maya says:

    @Violet: This is the same press that found GWB’s skit seeking WMDs in the Offal Office hilarious. Let’s face it Republicans are way more funny than Democrats which is why they dominate the comedy club circuits.

  24. 24
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    If I were Bridget Ann Kelly, I’d be looking into the witness protection program.

  25. 25
    dmsilev says:

    Why is this still going on? He’s rambling now.

  26. 26
    scav says:

    Has anyone done a count of the number of times he’s mentioned “I” and how he feels about all of this, how he was impacted and blindsides and blahblahblah? Rough guestimate, twice as much as even the oft mentioned people of New Jersey.

  27. 27
    Raven says:

    It’s ridiculous to bitch about how long the fucking press conference is. Turn the goddamn thing off if you don’t like it.

  28. 28
    Violet says:

    Should you resign? “God, no!”

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    Bridget may be bought, but will she stay bought?
    I hope for her sake she doesn’t have any dangerous hobbies like skydiving, bungee jumping, scuba diving…breathing.

  30. 30
    JustRuss says:

    “I’m a very loyal guy. And I expect loyalty in return.”

    Nothing says loyalty like conspiring with a bunch of your colleagues to get revenge against someone your boss never head of, without telling him. Or something.

  31. 31
    Corner Stone says:

    @Raven: Yeah! Bring that olditude!

  32. 32
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m incredibly loyal to my people. As I have amply demonstrated here today by that Monster Truck Bus they are all comfortable tossed under.

  33. 33
    Violet says:

    “I’m incredibly loyal to my people.” Except when he throws all of them under the bus.

    He’s so, so sad. So sad. He’s got a supportive wife. So lucky. So sad.

    Fucking asshole.

  34. 34
    Felonius Monk says:

    Shorter Christie: “It wasn’t me ’cause I had my head up my ass.”

  35. 35
    IowaOldLady says:

    Fox is back to talking about the Gates book. Ha! Gates’s book is the kind of gossipy thing the Village cares about while the public pays no attention. But scandal in the NJ gov’s office? That they care about.

  36. 36
    shortstop says:

    Among many other things in the press conference I’d like to know more about, one is his claim that the last two nights were sleepless for him. Since he only found out about this yesterday morning, what was keeping him up the night before?

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    @Raven: It’s not bitching about it being long. It’s being amazed that Christie hasn’t ended it. That he loves the sound of his voice so much that he’s willing to keep it going and risk saying something that will get him in trouble later. I’m surprise it’s still going. Doesn’t seem smart.

  38. 38
    Betty Cracker says:

    My guess is his PR consultant told him to stay as long as reporters still had questions or two hours, whichever comes first, and to always use the voice and tone one would use to read a storybook to preschoolers. He’s done a pretty good job of sticking to the script.

  39. 39
    MomSense says:

    @scav:

    He certainly didn’t use “I” when he talked about mistakes being made or people being fired.

    I will say it again. Republicans love personal responsibility until they have to take some and then it is always the fault of someone else.

  40. 40
    dmsilev says:

    @shortstop: He claimed that the two night thing was a slip of the tongue.

  41. 41
    srv says:

    You people just don’t understand how isolated great men are. Lincoln, Roosevelt, Nixon and Bush all had a natural distrust of others intentions but had to work with what they had. Hiring a bunch of pushovers in NJ would not get you far in politics – as you know, you go to war with the troops you have, not the troops you might want or wish to have at a later time.

    Along the way, mistakes are made, and a few people are inconvienced here and there, but one day we will look back on this and see this as a blip in the career of a guy with a big heart. John Cole at least is wise enough to see this side of Christie.

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:

    @shortstop:

    I’m guessing someone got wind of the story coming out, or got asked for comment? And that fact went up the chain the night before publication?

    The sleepless “two nights” comment is extremely interesting.

  43. 43
    Violet says:

    @shortstop: A reporter asked him if he misspoke on the “2 nights” thing and he said he did.

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    @Felonius Monk: “I honestly could have not had any part of this. I don’t know what a traffic study is, I don’t know who the mayor of Ft. Lee is, I don’t micro-manage my staff, and frankly, I’m not even sure why I’m at this podium right now.”

  45. 45
    Cacti says:

    First it was a joke.

    Then he “categorically denied” that it was any sort of political retribution.

    Then he privately called Andrew Cuomo to call off the investigation and was told to kick rocks.

    Now he has no idea how his personal friends and closest aides could be such two-bit thugs.

    Riiiiiiiight.

  46. 46
    MazeDancer says:

    @dmsilev:

    Maybe Bridget Kelley was staffer in charge of making sure boss stopped presser’s before digging too deep a hole?

    Guess Gov forgets that every syllable of video can be parsed for truth.

  47. 47
    EconWatcher says:

    Part of Christie’s comments seemed telling to me: When he described the questioning of his staff when the story initially broke, you only have to read between the lines a little bit to infer what was really asked: Not, did any of you do this? But: did any of you leave any trail that could prove it?

    And on that score, Christie might genuinely feel betrayed. His staff may have misled him about the document trail they left. To my ear at least, some of Christie’s comments seemed to suggest that (despite himself).

  48. 48
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Betty Cracker: The reporters will never stop asking questions if he stays.

    Reminds me of the time someone asked my dept chair how long our current meeting was going to last, and he said until everyone had said everything they had to say. Fortunately I was tenured, so I left.

  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I think you’re right about the 2 hours and maintain reasonable guy composure.

    He doesn’t want stories about how he fled the press, tigers that they are.

  50. 50
    TAPX486 says:

    Heaven help us if a bully like Christie gets his hands on the out of control national security state lead by the NSA

  51. 51
    Corner Stone says:

    “Oh, and did I mention that Wildstein and I were never friends, I barely knew him in fact, and that guy running the R Gov Assoc is someone I don’t even have a mobile number for. Oh, and that lying bitch set me up.”

  52. 52
    Anya says:

    What he would do to have a teacher to yell at. Those were the days.

  53. 53
    shortstop says:

    @Violet: I’m guessing that’s two things: One, like a drunk who thinks no one will notice he’s plastered if he keeps speaking using extreme care and slowness, or an embarrassed person who keeps talking to show false bravado, Christie’s under the ludicrous impression that he’s pulling this off.

    Two, he clearly decided to “take all questions, no matter how many” to prove just how transparent he is. Bad idea, since the questions are showing some variety but the answers aren’t, and the latter aren’t improving with extreme repetition.

  54. 54
    shortstop says:

    @dmsilev: Did he? That’s convincing, that is.

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    @TAPX486: That will never happen. Always angels in that chair.

  56. 56
    raven says:

    @Violet:

    Hal says:
    block January 9, 2014 at 12:11 pm
    Christ on crutches, how much longer is this conference going to go? The man just loves the spotlight. One more season to be weary of him as President.”

    last thread, maybe we should bitch about too many threads on the same topic.

  57. 57
    Cacti says:

    I had no idea that this bridge closure was going on. I was busy punching kindergarten teachers.

    -Chris Christie (R-Gambino)

  58. 58
    Violet says:

    @shortstop: What happened was a reporter said, “You said you only heard about this yesterday, but then you said you couldn’t sleep for two nights. Did you mean one night?” To which Christie said, “Yes. Sorry.” May not be verbatim, but that was essentially what happened. Reporter could have said, “Please explain how you had two nights of poor sleep when you said you only heard about it yesterday.” Reporter didn’t.

  59. 59
    scav says:

    His natural belligerence is peeking through . . . it’s like a leaky balloon . . . and the wide-eyed trust combined with the hints of experience political manipulator discussng implications and then jumping back to kitten. Ahh, the stages again, “oh gosh” so characteristic of the beast.

  60. 60
    chopper says:

    just in from the times:

    New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson cleared the way for former Port Authority official David Wildstein to testify later today at an Assembly transportation committee hearing investigating the circumstances surrounding the closing of toll lanes on the George Washington Bridge last year.

    Attorneys for Mr. Wildstein tried to quash a subpoena requesting that he testify in Trenton on Thursday. Judge Jacobsen denied the request.

    i’m havin’ popcorn for lunch today.

  61. 61
    bemused says:

    That was just a very, very nervous giggle from Christie. I didn’t catch the reporter’s question, something about anger?

  62. 62
    Violet says:

    @raven: I still read the same thing. Jeez, this press conference is long. The man loves to hear his own voice. That doesn’t seem like it’s smart. Plus, he’s annoying.

  63. 63
    dmsilev says:

    “The rare moment when I raise my voice”.

    That would be whenever he feels the need to berate a teacher.

  64. 64
    Corner Stone says:

    “If any of you have any knowledge of this you need to tell Kevin, Charlie or me. Now! (wink, wink)

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @bemused: something about getting angry and breaking things

  66. 66
    shortstop says:

    @scav: I was just thinking the same thing, less eloquently and hilariously.

  67. 67
    Barney says:

    “I’m a very loyal guy. And I expect loyalty in return.”

    I cannot read that without imagining it’s Tony Soprano saying it.

  68. 68
    dmsilev says:

    Today’s lesson: For Christie, loyalty is a one-way street. That merges through a single toll booth.

  69. 69
    Corner Stone says:

    David Wildstein? Who the fuck is that? Never heard of him.

  70. 70
    raven says:

    @Violet: @Violet: Seriously, is someone making you watch it?

  71. 71
    Violet says:

    Banging the podium again. Talking about his workout again. He’s fixated on the time. It’s a tell. He must have known something earlier because he’s so weirdly fixated on the exact time he claims to have found out about it. He has to keep repeating it for some reason–so he’ll remember or so he’ll believe it. It’s a tell.

  72. 72
    Comrade Mary says:

    I live in Toronto. I KNOW how little attention most people pay to anything but the broadest outlines of a scandal. I met up with extended family recently and, of course, Ford came up. The same group of people who called him a joke, pantomined smoking crack (in front of my bereaved uncle, feet away from the casket of my late aunt), and laughed away about his antics, also turned on a dime and called him the ONLY guy looking out for the taxpayer, yadda yadda, as soon as he lost powers, council raised taxes (they didn’t, but wevs) yadda, (sigh). His lies? Oh, all politicians lie. Etc.

    So I think what a lot of people may take away from this conference is that Christie apologized, said the buck stops here, fired some staff, then took questions from the Evil Press for hours on end. Stand up guy! Last honest man!

    Without a smoking gun (or pipe), this may not move the needle.

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @chopper: Oh, that is gonna be straight balls.
    Even if he just takes the 5th (can he do that in this matter?), it will still be glorious.

  74. 74
    Violet says:

    @raven: No one is making me do anything. I’m not the one complaining about the length of the press conference. Never was. I’m astounded by it. Not complaining.

  75. 75
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Betty Cracker: Beat me to it. Yep, this is a slick choice, not aimless vanity.

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MazeDancer:

    He’s setting himself up to be royally screwed by his underlings, by screwing them over right now. Loyalty for Chris Christie is like it is for the deserting coward… a one way street flowing to him, and him alone. Unless the hush money is stupendous, no one, not one of them, will be willing to go to prison for this asshole.

  77. 77
    bemused says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I think his giggle revealed he is really feeling the heat. He’d probably like to break a lot of things including heads right now.

  78. 78
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Comrade Mary: That’s the strategy. I’m not sure whether or not it will work.

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    @Comrade Mary: Oh, he can stay Gov of NJ and be a walking punch line. But he will never be the R nominee for president.
    Big difference.

  80. 80
    GregB says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I don’t know but if this is his wife I can’t wait to see him.

  81. 81
    Felonius Monk says:

    It’s probably a little premature to say that Christie’s political career is taking a header off the GWB, but one can certainly hope that it is.

  82. 82
    Violet says:

    @Comrade Mary: People that were going to vote for Republicans–any Republican–anyway are not going to be moved. It’s Democrats and Independents (Republicans-lite) and others who can be persuaded to vote for him that he needs to persuade.

  83. 83
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m not following the live-stream of Christie’s press conference; but from the live-blogging, I get the impression that he’s only digging himself deeper into this mess. I was expecting his presidential campaign to implode, eventually; but not this soon, this quickly, or for that matter from this cause.

  84. 84
    Corner Stone says:

    @bemused: I’m having a hard time believeing he’s never slapped his wife.
    Irresponsible speculation, on my part. But that’s who he seems to be, IMO.
    In all his campaign stuff he never touches her. She’s always behind hima step and to the side. He never looks at her when he talks about her. She’s right there man! Grab her hand and raise it high! Turn and wink at her, at least!

  85. 85
    Rosalita says:

    HAHA!

    Phil Perspective ‏@PhilPerspective 15m
    @joshtpm He still has 90+ minutes to go .. if he expects to impress Springsteen
    Retweeted by Josh Marshall

  86. 86
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet:

    Officer Cass: Our scout ships have reached Dantooine. They found the remains of a Rebel base, but they estimate that it has been deserted for some time. They are now conducting an extensive search of the surrounding systems.
    Governor Tarkin: [referring to Leia] She lied. She lied to us!
    Darth Vader: I told you she would never consciously betray the Rebellion.
    Governor Tarkin: Terminate her… immediately!

  87. 87
    dmsilev says:

    Oh, snap. Apparently the Fort Lee mayor has just said “talk to the hand” to Christie.

  88. 88
    Corner Stone says:

    I haven’t seen him lurch left for water yet. Take that, candy ass Rubio!

  89. 89
    Suffern ACE says:

    Hmmm. Given the timing of the Seaside Heights Boardwalk fire (September 12/13), I wonder who the owner of that custard stand had endorsed for governor.

  90. 90
    beth says:

    If he doesn’t stop soon, he’s going to roll into Fort Lee with his motorcade right around rush hour and really fuck up traffic yet again.

  91. 91
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Not, did any of you do this? But: did any of you leave any trail that could prove it?

    Bingo. That hit me too.

  92. 92
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Violet: Well, there’s Ford Nation troglodytes who will defend him to the death in increasingly bizarre ways, and there’s centrists like my extended family who will joke but support him because he has charisma, just as Christie does — yes, fat loud guys can totally have charisma, because it’s not a synonym for pretty and charming — and because he says things they agree with about fiscal responsibility and the like. Don’t discount lingering Hurricane Sandy halo effects, too.

  93. 93
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @shortstop: Two, he clearly decided to “take all questions, no matter how many” to prove just how transparent he is. Bad idea, since the questions are showing some variety but the answers aren’t, and the latter aren’t improving with extreme repetition.

    I don’t know. I’ve got it on mute, but if such bet could be placed, I’d bet the mortgage payment that Halperin and Chuck Todd will be all tingly in their naughty bits about how his perseverance and determination

    He doesn’t wear well with me, but that’s because I care about policy. If I didn’t know he was a Ryan-esque douchebag and a bully (“somethin’s goin’ down tonight, sweetheart), maybe I’d like his media persona.

  94. 94
    vtr says:

    I don’t know where he is right now, but I think I hear Richard Nixon giggling.

  95. 95
    patroclus says:

    This incompetent bully was a U.S. attorney??!!

  96. 96
    Violet says:

    @Rosalita: Ha ha ha! Hilarious! I wonder if Springsteen is still his friend.

  97. 97
    Hal says:

    @Violet: I think a 2+ hour presser is ridiculous. This thing should have been 20 tight minutes and finish. It will be interesting to see if Christie is covering all his bases or giving out more than enough rope to hang himself with.

  98. 98
    Violet says:

    Whoever said his PR person said to talk for 2 hours got it right!

  99. 99
    bemused says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I never noticed but I really try not to watch these people in detail after seeing a photo of the wife grinning as her husband was yelling at a woman. Ugh.

  100. 100
    Comrade Mary says:

    Chris Turner on Twitter:

    US journos: “When will this Christie presser end?” Cdn journos: “This politician ANSWERS AN INDEFINITE NUMBER OF QUESTIONS?” *heads explode*

  101. 101
    hitchhiker says:

    He’s playing that scene from the last season of the West Wing, where the Alan Alda character goes to take questions for as long as reporters have them about a nuclear disaster in his home state.

    Now he’s saying he’s going to go take some cameras away from the Wildstein testimony by staging a meet the people event in Fort Lee.

    Ha ha ha.

  102. 102
    dmsilev says:

    And, done.

    If one of the under-the-bus scapegoats decides to rat him out, or if there are additional documents which got sent to him, he’s toast. Otherwise, damaged but surviving for now.

  103. 103
    Elizabelle says:

    @beth:

    If he doesn’t stop soon, he’s going to roll into Fort Lee with his motorcade right around rush hour and really fuck up traffic yet again.

    That would be epic. LOL.

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    Governor Christie said that his chief of staff at the time Kevin O’Dowd did not know that his deputy, Bridget Anne Kelly, requested that a Port Authority official to create traffic problems in Fort Lee.
    Mr. Christie nominated Mr. O’Dowd, who is well-liked in Trenton, as the state’s attorney general last month. Mr. O’Dowd is supposed to appear next week before state lawmakers for confirmation.
    “She had no prior approval from the chief of staff or the governor,” Mr. Christie said.

    Another named person who “did not know”. He should have wrapped this up. He doesn’t have any idea who knew what, obviously, because a coupla months ago he was saying the same thing about people he then fired.

  105. 105
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @patroclus: in which office YOUR TAX DOLLARS paid for him to stay at the Four Seasons. Shit like that starts to stick once something like this. And why did the Romney team pass on him? This raises Serious Questions!

  106. 106
    elmo says:

    Holy crap, you guys. I just looked over at the GOS and there’s a diary up that points out – he closed down access to the bridge on 9/11!

    Bridgeghazi, indeed!

  107. 107
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    “Your winnings, sir.”

  108. 108
    Elizabelle says:

    @Violet:

    RE two hour presser: It were Betty Cracker. Called it right again.

  109. 109
    Robert says:

    The New York Times highlighted a comment that literally says “but no one died.” So what was that about the NYTimes being a liberal paper that can’t be trusted? Every comment they’re highlighting on that article linked at the end of this post is supporting Chris Christie as a politician for the national stage or downplaying the disruption his office created with this vindictive lane closure.

  110. 110
    bemused says:

    2 hours but he didn’t clear anything up.

  111. 111
    Elizabelle says:

    MSNBC: Mrs. Greenspan has former Governor Tom Kean on, re his political protege C Christie.

    Kean says that the bridge closure would benefit somebody just doesn’t make sense, It’s like something out of a novel.

    Yes. That’s true. But that’s not the issue. It’s that they did it …

  112. 112
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hal:

    This thing should have been 20 tight minutes and finish.

    The only thing worse for him would have been to not have one at all.
    He had to do this.

  113. 113
    gelfling545 says:

    See, what really happened was the Governor cried out in frustration “Will no one rid me of this turbulent mayor?” and his minions went and took him seriously when he didn’t mean that; not at all.

  114. 114
    Elizabelle says:

    Kean suspects Christie didn’t know, but how that atmosphere could have existed, and how a staffer could give orders to the Port Authority ….

    Now Andrea asks about bipartisanship … mentions Jay Rockefeller is looking into this — Senate Commerce Committee?

  115. 115
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Elizabelle:

    It makes sense if you’re a petty, vindictive asshole who wants to punish his perceived enemies for the slightest fucking slight, even if it has no material effect whatsoever on the outcome of an upcoming election.

    Tom Kean can’t comprehend the motivations of a sociopathic fuck. This is to Tom Kean’s credit.

  116. 116
    Cacti says:

    @patroclus:

    <i?This incompetent bully was a U.S. attorney??!!

    Christie survived the Bush U.S. Attorney purge.

    That should tell you plenty about his professional ethics.

  117. 117
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Corner Stone: Ha ha, reminds me of this one loose cannon boss I have. After he got caught lying to HIS boss I thought he was finished but no, still there. Guess it will be up to the union to take out the trash. Unions wouldn’t be what they are if management weren’t incompetent, cowardly, mendacious pikers who wreck other people’s bodies to put a few more Ameros in their own pockets.

    Fuck capitalism. It’s like an EVA unit: put some armor on that crazy undead beast to control it or it will control you and wreck shit.

  118. 118
    Corner Stone says:

    Barbara Buono is an awful politician.

  119. 119
    MazeDancer says:

    High School Non-Friend David Wildstein testifying now before NJ Legislature: http://new.livestream.com/NJOLS/ATR1

    Lawyer stalling as much as possible to start. Already lost with a judge.

  120. 120
    boatboy_srq says:

    If I were Bridget Ann Kelly, a performance like this would give me at least one reason to look forward to that criminal inquiry.

    Not so sure of that. People like Christie tend to have different private sides, and either have prepared for events like this or have loyalists on their team willing to fall on their swords. That was (another) failing of the Shrubbery: Scooter Libby may have been the fall guy for the Plame business, but he wasn’t willing – and certainly was sufficiently valuable for some in the maladministration to want to keep him in spite of the damage done. For Kelly to be so obviously involved in this business, and so quickly dismissed, there has to be a backroom tete-a-tete involved where Christie promises her a good recommendation, a comfy severance package and immediate placement with some connected state contractor.

  121. 121
    Corner Stone says:

    I really, really do not want Barbara Buono being the D counterpoint on this issue. She is awful.

  122. 122
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cacti: Jersey Nixon. Was going to win reelection anyway but just had to break the law to … idk what the sport analogy is here. It’s like when you’re winning and you cheat because you’re either paranoid or a terrible person or both.

  123. 123
    Keith G says:

    Chris Christie’s behavior show him to be becoming a Right Wing’s wet dream. All he has to do is shoot unarmed black kid and they would try to elect him to president for life.

    So no, as of yet I see no damage to his goal of being nominated to run for the presidency of the United States

  124. 124
    shortstop says:

    It would be hilarious if Sokolich said he will graciously accept his in-person apology from Christie, but disallow all media. Photo op for the guv = kaput.

  125. 125
    Cacti says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Jersey Nixon. Was going to win reelection anyway but just had to break the law to … idk what the sport analogy is here. It’s like when you’re winning and you cheat because you’re either paranoid or a terrible person or both.

    Call it a political Barry Bonds. By 1999, he was a mortal lock for HOF induction. Then in 2000 he still roided up past the point of any plausible deniability.

  126. 126
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G: Does NJ have the death penalty? If not, maybe he could get it re-enacted and execute some dark people.

  127. 127
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Keith G:

    Oh, sure, he might be able to win the nomination.

    But he’s very overdone, blackened toast in the general. Already.

  128. 128
    kc says:

    Apparently Christie paid more attention to thd details of his campaign than he does to thd governor’s office.

  129. 129
    amk says:

    @shortstop: The mayor already told him don’t waste the gas, punk.

  130. 130
    Corner Stone says:

    I don’t know what Sokolich said when denying the Gov’s request, but I hope it was something classy about busy doing his job helping the people of Ft. Lee.

    ETA, something like, “Thanks, but we’re working hard here. Just send us the check for damages. Thanks.”

  131. 131
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    For Kelly to be so obviously involved in this business, and so quickly dismissed, there has to be a backroom tete-a-tete involved where Christie promises her a good recommendation, a comfy severance package and immediate placement with some connected state contractor.

    Hush money. Seven figure, possibly eight now, after the presser, hush money.

  132. 132
    debbie says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Kean is no less of an idiot than when he was governor. “Puhfect together.”

  133. 133
    Bargal20 says:

    Is the tale of Bridget Ann Kelly not the juiciest example of nominative determinism in recent memory?

  134. 134
    Violet says:

    Wildstein is apparently going to plead the fifth.

  135. 135
    Robert says:

    @MazeDancer: The hearing already said he can’t plead the 5th, but the lawyer is swearing that the rules everyone agreed to don’t apply because federal rights trump state rights or something. Stall tactics. Not going to work.

  136. 136
    Mandalay says:

    Wildstein is taking the Fifth! Nothing to see here. Move along…

  137. 137
    Cacti says:

    Wildstein had his request denied to quash the subpoena from NJ Assembly. He’s ordered to appear today.

    Wonder how that’s going.

  138. 138
    Paul in KY says:

    @Kay: If she’d had ‘prior approval’, then everything would be hunky-dory.

  139. 139
    Violet says:

    @Robert: Committee chair saying they can hold him in contempt and take a vote on it at the end of the hearing if he doesn’t answer.

  140. 140
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    “The gun. It is smoking! All over the fucking place!”

  141. 141
    Citizen S says:

    I really feel like CC could use some media advice from Mayor Rob Ford.

  142. 142
    max says:

    @dmsilev: Today’s lesson: For Christie, loyalty is a one-way street. That merges through a single toll booth.

    Tsk. The entrance to Christie Loyalty Expressman is closed for a traffic study.

    max
    [‘There don’t seem to be any cars on it for some reason.’]

  143. 143
    JPL says:

    @Robert: It is so far. Wildstein is not testifying, now he’s off the jail. At least I hope.

  144. 144
    MazeDancer says:

    @Robert:

    Apparently paying the penalties for illegal use of 5th lesser than any other possibilities.

  145. 145
    Violet says:

    @JPL: Will they send him to jail for contempt if he doesn’t answer?

  146. 146
    Paul in KY says:

    @Another Holocene Human: It’s like Lindsey Jacobellis being way out in front in snowboard, but just having to ham it up, and falling on her ass.

    It’s fucking stupid & being a huge narcissist.

  147. 147
    Keith G says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: If he makes it to the general, he’s too close to becoming president for my faint heart to be able to withstand. Assuming a Hillary candidacy, she is certainly good enough but golly can she make some seriously bad mistakes.

  148. 148
    shortstop says:

    @Cacti: It’s Nixonian in its gratuitous vindictiveness and total indifference to collateral damage, but it’s also the behavior of a raging control freak who literally loses his mind with fury when people don’t do what he wants them to do. And it’s Outfittish in its “message” to other Democratic mayors of what can happen when you go against the mob boss.

    I know we’ve all had weeks to think about this and a day and a half to digest this latest piece, but it’s still blowing me away that someone could do this.

  149. 149
    Cacti says:

    @Violet:

    Committee chair saying they can hold him in contempt and take a vote on it at the end of the hearing if he doesn’t answer.

    Must have offered immunity for his responses. Since legislative hearings are not judicial proceedings, immunity can be used to compel a witness to answer. Thereafter, failure to respond is punishable with contempt.

  150. 150
    Cacti says:

    @shortstop:

    And it’s Outfittish in its “message” to other Democratic mayors of what can happen when you go against the mob boss.

    The Democratic mayor of Jersey City was also mentioned by name in the e-mails in contemptuous tones, for failure to endorse the Boss.

    There have also been rumblings from Dem mayors, that Christie endorsements were given for fear of retribution on their cities and towns.

  151. 151
    scav says:

    ahh, the comparative visuals between the two hours of I I I and the ensuing 5th 5th 5th about things visibly before him is tasty, especially as they are probably making up the law as they go.

  152. 152
    gnomedad says:

    “I did not have relations with that bridge.”

  153. 153
    shortstop says:

    @Cacti: Yes, absolutely. And Sokolich was being made an example of for the future. Christie thought he had a good three years in the new term (if he wasn’t planning on resigning before he ran for the presidency).

  154. 154
    shelly says:

    Christie’s default position, when he’s challenged on anything, is to first get defensive and sarcastic. And then if he’s still pushed, bring on the sad concern.
    It happened a few years ago when New Jersey was hit with a massive snowstorm (almost 2 feet) in December. He was on vacation in Florida, and when asked if perhaps he should be on the job here in NJ in this circumstance, he got extremely pissy.
    Another time was when he used a state helicopter to get to his kid’s Little League game. His excuse? He had to get to a Republican fund-raiser in PA right after, for God’s sake!

  155. 155
    kc says:

    @Corner Stone:

    “Before yesterday I didn’t know there was a city called ‘Ft Lee’ in New Jersey . . .”

  156. 156
    hrumpole says:

    The real question is is it worth giving Kelly immunity to roll up the bigger fish?

  157. 157
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Why pay out of your own pocket when what remains of your machine can supply the need from the Holy Private Sector in the form of a “job”?

  158. 158
    Corner Stone says:

    @hrumpole: That’s not even close to a question.

  159. 159
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cacti: Fear of monetary retribution! Like George the Worst!

    Doing something so visible, so ridiculous, so likely to get caught, so not likely to strike fear in the mayor of Fort Lee (per J Stewart), speaks of hubris. Or narcissism. Probably that.

  160. 160
    Heliopause says:

    Some people think that Christie had to go big on the outrage, that he even did a credible job of it.

    What he needed to do was walk a very fine line. He needed to be outraged to some extent but somehow still keep his “fuck the liberals” cred. I kind of think he didn’t do it, but who knows.

    That said, it would be a mistake to assume that he’s politically doomed. Older people like me remember a chief executive who was surrounded by sociopathic criminal liars and knew nothing of their skullduggeries (that was the official story, anyway). His approval ratings were solid upon leaving office. We old folks also remember a chief executive who got blow jobs in the broom closet and lied about it to the whole world. His approval ratings were solid upon leaving office.

  161. 161
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @kc:

    “The Mississippi governor has learned that the Mayor of Ft. Lee has obtained yellowcake from Colorado. Based on this information, I am ordering traffic studies to be conducted in Ft. Lee to determine if the yellocake was transported over the GWB.”

  162. 162
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Bargal20: Henceforth forever known as the bridge “it” girl.

  163. 163
    The Tragically Flip says:

    For him to have any hope surviving this, it really has to be some one-off event. I think we know it isn’t, he’s a vindictive prick and the reason this blew up big time is that it confirmed an existing (sigh) narrative.

    There will be more such stories, especially if he runs for President. Much like Palin’s litany of petty score-setting as Mayor and Governor came out once she went national.

  164. 164
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Heliopause: But the latter was the (almost) victimless crime. It didn’t speak well of him but prosecuting that was bullshit.

  165. 165
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    The “job” had better pay twice what she was earning as deputy chief of staff, and had better be a long term (say 10-30 year) “job”.

    She can email her time sheets in from Aruba.

  166. 166
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Heliopause: I was there also and I remember that while Republicans from Ken Starr all the way down (including Joe Lieberman, no matter what he called himself) were insisting that blow jobs had caused actual real word damage including people dying, the public never believed this horseshit for a moment and his approval stayed high. This is a little different.

  167. 167
    Heliopause says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Yes, prosecuting it was bullshit and had the effect of creating a small sympathy backlash. Might be a lesson there for current events.

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Clinton’s approval took a hit but rebounded, as did Reagan’s. Another lesson.

  168. 168
    Botsplainer says:

    @Cacti:

    Call it a political Barry Bonds. By 1999, he was a mortal lock for HOF induction.

    Speaking of the HOF, did you see the freakout over the vote handed to the fans at Deadspin? Too funny by half.

  169. 169
    Chyron HR says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    including Joe Lieberman, no matter what he called himself

    Huh? Was this back when he was insisting that his tribal name was Ramses Q. Shabazz?

  170. 170
    Botsplainer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    She can email her time sheets in from Aruba.

    She’s not unattractive, I notice.

  171. 171
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Haven’t been able to follow the story. Has Bridget been shut down yet or does she still work for the governor?

  172. 172
    Jay C says:

    @Cacti:

    There have also been rumblings from Dem mayors, that Christie endorsements were given for fear of retribution on their cities and towns.

    Yeah, that’s what they’re saying NOW. Back during the campaign, it was pretty much common knowledge that Big Chris – in pursuit of an ego- and Presidental-campaign-boosting landslide had done his spadework with New Jersey’s Democratic bosses (who still wield a lot of political clout in the Garden State) well beforehand. Which led to the Dems putting up Barbara Buono (a truly mediocre politico) as sacrificial goat: making sure that she got little-to-no support from the Dem machines, and no serious money, and in general, if not jumping on the Christie bandwagon, at making sure it didn’t run into any traffic problems. No lane closures for “The Governor’s” bus, for sure….

  173. 173
    Corner Stone says:

    @Botsplainer: That’s why the governor said he had no sleep for two nights. The first night was because he and Bridget were having sexual congress, and the second night he lied awake knowing he would never have sex with her again.

  174. 174
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    The bitch lied to the innocent puppy Chris. The bitch lied! Chris is crushed!

  175. 175
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jay C:

    Which led to the Dems putting up Barbara Buono (a truly mediocre politico)

    Mediocre is not the word. I think the word you’re looking for is “awful”.

  176. 176
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Has she been fired yet?

  177. 177
    Mike E says:

    @vtr: Satan’s pitchfork has that effect on ol’ Tricky Dick.

  178. 178
    Corner Stone says:

    One, two, three, four, Fith! I plead the fith!
    I plead da fif!

  179. 179
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Heliopause:

    Clinton’s approval took a hit but rebounded, as did Reagan’s. Another lesson.

    A common myth. Didn’t happen.

    As the Lewinsky situation unfolded, Clinton’s job approval went up, not down, and his ratings remained high for the duration of the impeachment proceedings. […] Thus, the onset of the publicity surrounding the Lewinsky revelations was correlated with a significant jump in Clinton’s job approval rating, and the two quarters during which the House and Senate debated impeachment and conviction — 4th quarter 1998 and 1st quarter 1999 — saw the public give Bill Clinton the highest job approval ratings of any of the 25 quarters of the Clinton administration to date.

    Not the lesson you’re thinking it is.

    @Chyron HR: Hah. No I meant despite the fact that he called himself a Democrat, he was becoming a Republican, basically.

  180. 180
    LanceThruster says:

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

  181. 181
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    She’s been fired.

    The big question now is how much hush money has she been paid?

  182. 182
    Larv says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:
    She was fired, then thrown under the bus, then scraped back up so she could be thrown under it again. Several times.

  183. 183
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m sure there’s some investment house in Bermuda or the Caymans who could oblige on all counts.

  184. 184
    boatboy_srq says:

    @srv: Let me guess: that was a marketing blurb for a Pepto-insulin-valium cocktail.

  185. 185
    Heliopause says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Sorry, but you didn’t dig deep enough. Other pollsters found dips in Clinton’s approval. What remains to be seen is how deep and how permanent will be Christie’s hit. Clinton’s was brief and shallow, but it was there.

  186. 186
    different-church-lady says:

    The guy does not just throw you under the bus. He backs the bus over you a few times, pisses on the body, takes off and nukes the bus from orbit. is the bus.

    And that concludes today’s episode of Cheap Fat Jokes.

  187. 187
    Heliopause says:

    And I should add, even Gallup showed a small dip when the allegation was first published, then a big rebound after the forceful denial.

  188. 188

    @Comrade Mary: Apparently, being a criminal is OK, so long as he’s not stealing your property.

    Hunh.

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