Good news for Chris Christie

Halperin goes all in:

Update. Checking the twitters, Erick Erickson is all in on backing Christie too. So the conference is working with both the “Morning Joe” right-center crowd as well with the Tea Party types.

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93 replies
  1. 1
    the Conster says:

    Huh – thought it would have been Fournier first out of the gate with the tongue bath.

  2. 2
    Cervantes says:

    Virtuoso isn’t a word this entire episode brings to mind.

  3. 3
    Napoleon says:

    What?

    He didn’t declare that Christie has won the week?

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This is so fucking obvious that even a cretinous shitstain like Mark Halperin can see how it ends.

  5. 5
    geg6 says:

    That seals it. Christie won’t even be serving out his current term, then.

    Meanwhile, isn’t Wildstein testifying at noon today?

  6. 6
    hildebrand says:

    This will be Christie’s undoing precisely because it is so small-minded and petty. Vindictiveness is never attractive. Even the media stooges will see that, as they live the lives of petty vindictiveness and can spot a fellow traveler a mile away.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    Christie going with his sad, sad puppy, “I’m embarrassed and humiliated”and my staff lied to me” defense is probably his best bet. If you like Christie already you might just believe him. He’d better be absolutely certain that this can’t be connected to him because otherwise this press conference is going to be amazing to re-watch in light of new info.

  8. 8
    Hal says:

    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.

  9. 9
    kc says:

    “Halperin goes all in”

    All up Christie’s butt, you mean.

  10. 10
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    a different take

    Josh Barro ‏@ jbarro 33m
    Christie says he hasn’t gotten a lot of sleep “the last two nights” and he’s been soul searching. But this story broke yesterday morning.

    @Hal: I just flipped on my TV and thought he’s getting arrogant and testy. I wonder if his handlers are in the back of the room giving hymn the secret signal that it’s time to go

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    @Hal:

    I think you meant “wary”, but we will be weary if that ever happens!

  12. 12
    Violet says:

    He keeps reiterating that he found out a little before 9 a.m. yesterday and Bridget was terminated by 9 a.m. today like the 24 hours to being fired thing is important. Is it? Why? Does it show he takes “swift action” or something? Seems plenty long to me. Why not fire her last night?

  13. 13
    Kay says:

    Governor Christie said that he is confident that David Samson, the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, did not know about the lane closings or the request from his aide. He said that he spent a couple of hours talking to Mr. Samson about the incident.
    Mr. Samson was also angry over the events, said Mr. Christie who appointed Mr. Samson to the role.
    “I am confident that he had no knowledge of this,” the governor said.

    He better be confident. If that’s not true he has to do this over again.

  14. 14
    John Arbuthnot Fisher says:

    Christie is really going all in on his non-involvement, and explicitly damning some very close aides who were clearly involved. It only takes one to flip, and Baroni, Wildstein, Kelly, etc. all now have plenty of motivation now that Christie has royally f*cked them.

  15. 15
    Tractarian says:

    Bridget Anne Kelly is so going to end up with her own Fox show.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Elizabelle says:

    Halperin used “perf”. Not performance.

    Because if he’d said “virtuoso performance” — well, it’s obvious this IS a performance.

  18. 18
    Raven says:

    @Hal: Yea, he should storm out. Get a clue.

  19. 19
    Violet says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: A local reporter asked him about the “2 night” thing and asked him if it was a mistake. Christie said, “Yes. Sorry.” Stupid reporter. He could have just asked what Christie meant by “2 nights of no sleep when he claims only found out about it yesterday morning.”

  20. 20
    geg6 says:

    @John Arbuthnot Fisher:

    Yup. Can’t see any of them going to state or federal prison for this asshole.

  21. 21
    J says:

    Thank God for Chris Christie! Americans can once again hold their heads high. This puts us well ahead of Toronto and Rob Ford in the most contemptible elected official games (heavyweight division)!

  22. 22
    dmsilev says:

    So, basically his excuse is that a whole bunch of staffers, all of which have been with him for years, went rogue simultaneously and also blatantly lied to him.

  23. 23
    Mandalay says:

    @Violet:

    If you like Christie already you might just believe him. He’d better be absolutely certain that this can’t be connected to him…

    Right. He’ll survive if they can’t tie him to the closure, and he is screaming from the rooftops that he knew absolutely nothing before yesterday. If he did then he is a fantastic liar.

    Either way his presidential ambitions are dead. The best he can hope for is that all his underlings STFU, and he gets branded as an incompetent administrator, and nothing more.

  24. 24
    elmo says:

    I said this in the thread below, and I’ll say it again here: Wildstein has known the Gov the longest, and he did not hesitate to go forward with this. He did not say, at any point, “Whoa – I know the Guv, and he would not be happy we are doing this.”

    I don’t tell my boss everything I do, certainly. But I also don’t knowingly do things that he wouldn’t be happy about. This is an upper-level guy with a lot of discretion, and Christie obvs trusted him to use that discretion in ways that Christie would approve. Could Wildstein have been so wrong about what his old friend Chris Christie would appreciate?

  25. 25
    YellowJournalism says:

    Chris Christie has a great idea here: traffic studies instead of violence for retaliating against your enemies. Of course, people might still get shot if the gridlock is frustrating enough.

  26. 26
    Porco Rosso says:

    @Elizabelle:

    All we get these days are perf walks

  27. 27
    Kay says:

    Christie doesn’t have any idea who else in his office knew about this and didn’t tell him, if he’s telling the truth that he found out about it yesterday.

    The only reason he knows three people lied to him is their names are on the emails.
    If he didn’t know they were lying, he doesn’t know who else working for him was or is lying. Chances are, someone else in that office at least knew it happened.

    He better hope there’s nothing that ties anyone else in that office to this, or he literally has to go back out and say exactly the same thing.

  28. 28
    Elizabelle says:

    @elmo:

    You got it, elmo.

    Wildstein probably thought it would amuse Christie.

    And would never come back to bite anyone.

    Would they have gotten away with it if they’d used phone calls rather than emails?

    It still amazes me the stuff people will commit to email.

  29. 29
    Karen in GA says:

    @dmsilev: Makes sense.

    /Politico

  30. 30
    Heliopause says:

    Hate to say it but it really was a pretty good performance, as these things go. One huge problem for Christie, though; going on this Apology Tour will help him with the huge Halperin demographic but hurt him with the Republicans-who-actually-vote-in-primaries demographic.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:

    @YellowJournalism:

    Of course, people might still get shot if the gridlock is frustrating enough.

    Or they might die because the ambulance got caught in traffic.

  32. 32
    Elizabelle says:

    Emails. That reminds me. We never got the emails from the Bush White House, or anything from Rove, did we? Did that just fall down a rabbit hole?

    Might some of those surface, or be traceable, one of these days?

  33. 33
    MomSense says:

    I still loved this from 2008.

    The paradox of this scene was that the Obama campaign’s communications strategy was predicated in part on an aggressive indifference to this insider set. Staff members were encouraged to ignore new Web sites like The Page, written by Time’s Mark Halperin, and Politico, both of which had gained instant cachet among the Washington smarty-pants set. “If Politico and Halperin say we’re winning, we’re losing,” Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, would repeat mantralike around headquarters. He said his least favorite words in the English language were, “I saw someone on cable say this. . . .”

    It is from this article. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12.....&_r=0

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet:

    He’d best hope that Bridgett Kelly doesn’t turn on him. Because she probably has the means to put him in prison.

    Every minute this press conference lasts, the hush money total rises.

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    He’ll survive if they can’t tie him to the closure

    He’ll survive if they can’t tie anyone else in his office to the closure. If it comes out that more people knew, he probably has to go back out and fire and then apologize again.

  36. 36
    Pluky says:

    So Ms. Coulter, do you still think Governor Christie is the perfect Republican presidential nominee?

  37. 37
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    He better hope there’s nothing that ties anyone else in that office to this, or he literally has to go back out and say exactly the same thing.

    Christie explicitly addressed that: he doesn’t believe anyone else knew, but he cannot guarantee that.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Elizabelle:

    The deserting coward and the Dark Lord did not use email. Leaves a trail. The criminals did not want to leave a trail. They both learned something from Watergate, it seems.

  39. 39
    Elizabelle says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    True. But their aides were not as circumspect, no? Believe those are the ones that were supposed to be retained, but were never available?

    Offices gossip.

  40. 40
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Every minute this press conference lasts, the hush money total rises.

    Christie doesn’t need to soil himself with hush money. Poor Bridget is thinking horse’s head.

  41. 41
    Hunter Gathers says:

    He’s either a liar or a chump.

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tractarian:

    And is probably set for life with hush money.

  43. 43
    Tractarian says:

    Gov. Chris Christie said “I have nothing to hide,” and that his administration had nothing to hide.

    Sounds like a politician’s Famous Last Words to me.

  44. 44
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    Right, but he can’t preemptively immunize himself by saying that. If someone else knew and lied to him, either overtly or by omission, he has to fire and apologize again.

    Someone ordered this, and that person is currently working for Chris Christie, and lying to Chris Christie.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Thursday that he didn’t know who initiated the George Washington Bridge lane closures, though it has been revealed that members of his staff were likely involved.
    “I don’t know,” Christie said when asked point-blank. “I guess time will tell, but clearly there was knowledge of this action, whatever it was, prior to the beginning of it with Bridget Kelly.”

  45. 45
    Kay says:

    @Tractarian:

    Well, someone in his administration has something to hide, because someone ordered it, and that person probably hasn’t been fired.

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes:

    I think another Italian word is more appropriate:

    Fiasco.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    If anything happens to Bridget Kelly, well, Chris Christie had better hope like hell it can’t be traced back to him.

  48. 48
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    Someone ordered this, and that person is currently working for Chris Christie, and lying to Chris Christie.

    Or that person was Chris Christie himself, of course.

    Right now Christie is claiming that he couldn’t talk to Bridget Anne Kelly once she was going to be called to testify as a witness. IANAL, but that sounds like bullshit, and poor judgment from Christie.

  49. 49
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Good lord, he’s still talking?

  50. 50
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    He didn’t have any choice. He had to come out. But if he honestly didn’t know about this, then he doesn’t know what will come out next, and he just vouched for his administration, over and over again.

    It’s an extraordinarily vulnerable position for him. He can’t even say definitively if there was a political vendetta of some kind against another mayor. Reading the emails, it looks like there was.

  51. 51
    Violet says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He’s still talking.

  52. 52
    Mandalay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Good lord, he’s still talking?

    He’s still talking but he’s not saying anything (except I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad-I-am-a-victim-and-I-feel-sad).

  53. 53

    A Halperin for the video game and thermomix set:

    Peter Suderman ‏@petersuderman

    The length of the Christie presser is, to be clear, not a bad thing; the opposite, actually. It is, however, notable and unexpected.

  54. 54
    Rich (In Name Only) in Reno says:

    As I recall, the “I Know Nothing” line gets the most laughs when delivered with a thick German accent.

  55. 55
    karen says:

    @Elizabelle:

    They were destroyed, I believe.

  56. 56
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    It’s an extraordinarily vulnerable position for him.

    It certainly is, and he is toughing it out at the moment.

    But even if there is no further blockbuster news (and I think there will be), he may end up with death by a thousand cuts. I think people he has bullied and crapped on in the past will become emboldened to come forward and talk about their view of Christie. He is already branded as an incompetent administrator. Having multiple sources confirming his public image as a bully will push him to the sidelines forever.

  57. 57
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I got in my car shortly after 11 and MSNBC was covering the press conference.

    It was going the whole time I was in the car 30 minutes or so).

    Had a nice leisurely lunch, just got back in the car.

    MSNBC still has live presser on!!!

    Edit: Concluded as I was typing this comment. But yowza, nearly two hours??

  58. 58
    debbie says:

    If it’s hard to believe, Mark, then it must not be believable.

  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    He is already branded as an incompetent administrator.

    He did the branding himself, to boot. His staff was totally out of control, fucking up traffic in Ft. Lee as revenge for the failure of the Mayor of Ft. Lee to endorse Christie, and he didn’t have the slightest clue it was going on.

    Yup. That’s the ticket!

  60. 60
    The Tragically Flip says:

    “Virtuoso performance” – it’s that insipid church of the savy thing again. They don’t care if the story is true, Christie is doing a great job of selling it, that’s all that matters. Villagers are like frequent attendees to comedy improv shows, they’re just admiring Christie’s craft. The substance is completely unimportant. Only hicks care about that stuff.

  61. 61
    hrumpole says:

    I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.

  62. 62
    SmallAxe says:

    Haven’t seen anyone bring this up yet but I think it’s another key element. One of the days of the bridge closings was 9/11… most trafficked bridge in the world on our highest alert day closed to a trickle. That goes way further than not allowing ambulances in, that’s a huge strategic blunder. Waiting for that to be brought up.

  63. 63
    Force Crater says:

    Does anyone listen to Mark Halperin other than the turds he is swirling around the bowl with?

  64. 64
    Larv says:

    @Mandalay:

    I think people he has bullied and crapped on in the past will become emboldened to come forward and talk about their view of Christie.

    Weren’t there a bunch of Dem mayors that did endorse him? That’s unusual enough that I won’t be surprise to hear that at least some of them were threatened strongly encouraged to do so by Christie or his staff, using not-so-veiled threats of things just like this. Now that Christie is basically handcuffed from anything that smacks of retaliation, I have to think some of them will be coming forward. Even if he manages to blame it all on Kelly and others, it’s going to taint his supposedly bipartisan victory.

  65. 65
    Elizabelle says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    “Virtuoso performance” – it’s that insipid church of the savy thing again. They don’t care if the story is true, Christie is doing a great job of selling it, that’s all that matters. Villagers are like frequent attendees to comedy improv shows, they’re just admiring Christie’s craft. The substance is completely unimportant. Only hicks care about that stuff.

    Spot on.

    And these comedy show fans have first amendment protection, so they could do their jobs if they were so inclined.

  66. 66
    Ron Fournier says:

    He showed commanding leadership and bipartisanship. The scandal will hurt Hillary as much as Christie.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Larv:

    Given the human instinct to pile on, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them came forward even if they weren’t bullied. Plus it’s CYA time for them.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ron Fournier:

    My. Classic case of Poe’s law.

  69. 69
    Lee Russell says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: “handlers are in the back of the room giving hymn” and prayer also, but it won’t help.

  70. 70
    slippytoad says:

    I just want to fucking point something out here. I’m a non-subscriber to cable television, and I don’t listen to the radio either. My sole source of news is a few blogs like this. I knew that Christie’s administration had closed a freeway and fucked a bunch of people over sometime before Christmas, and I don’t live anywhere near New Jersey (I’m like, easily 800 miles away).

    If he’s really claiming that he first heard of this two days ago, he’s got his head further up his ass than a social hermit who barely glances out the window every couple of days. I’m fucking serious, he has to be way, way deep for this news to be fresh to him.

  71. 71
    Lex says:

    I said this in the other thread but it bears repeating. As David Simon (creator of “The Wire” and former Baltimore Sun reporter) said on his blog today, Christie might not have known before or as it happened, but he damn well knew almost immediately afterward. That’s because political apparatchiks, particularly those given to engaging in ratfcking*, tend to race one another to get to be the first to tell the boss about it and get an attaboy. Falling on your sword is only for White House staff, and even then there’s usually some kind of indication that the official will be taken care of afterward. At the statehouse level, it’s every rat for himself.

    Moreover, it’s highly unlikely any staffer would have taken the initiative on this unless the atmosphere in the office encouraged this kind of behavior. That’s an issue that, AFAIK, no reporter raised today.

    So Christie just threw his whole staff under the bus, and I doubt there’s one among them willing to do time for him. This will not end well for him if a criminal investigation actually goes anywhere.

    *term from the Nixon era used to describe dirty political tricks. Possibly coined by Donald Segretti.

  72. 72
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @elmo: Great point. I have no doubt that Christie knew that his aides were doing this. And I agree with you that although I don’t tell my boss every thing I do, I tell her the big things that may negatively impact our office if something goes awry.

    Christie better pray that his aides keep their mouth shut about his involvement in this mess.

  73. 73
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Ron Fournier: Ha!! And damage Obama’s chances at re-election.

  74. 74
    LanceThruster says:

    Shorter Chris Christie…

    Homina, homina homina…

  75. 75
    LanceThruster says:

    Shorter Chris Christie…

    Homina, homina, homina…

  76. 76
    Karen in GA says:

    @Patricia Kayden: This is great news for John McCain.

  77. 77
    PHB says:

    @Cervantes: As a damage limitation spiel it was certainly ‘virtuoso’.

    But the more important part of the tweet is what follows ‘still hard to believe Kelly did this on her own; probes go on’.

    Christie might survive the scandal but his excuses strain credulity and the investigations go on.

  78. 78
    Lordwhorfin says:

    Two words: Bob Filner.

  79. 79
    TomInPortland says:

    @Violet: A better question from that local reporter would have been, “Governor, what was the unrelated problem that kept you up the night before you learned of this incident?”

  80. 80
    cleek says:

    So the conference is working with both the “Morning Joe” right-center crowd as well with the Tea Party types.

    a couple of days ago “conservatives” all decided they want this to be another liberal media witch hunt circus distraction. railing against that is far more fun for them than just letting Christie taint the GOP.

  81. 81
    Larry Dichmann says:

    The Corpulent One either knew and is responsible or didn’t know and is irresponsible. We report, you decide.

  82. 82
    deuce says:

    @Hal: weary? or wary….

  83. 83
    J. Miller says:

    Hey, it worked for Nixon. For a while.

  84. 84
    rea says:

    Someone ordered this, and that person is currently working for Chris Christie, and lying to Chris Christie.

    Well, shoot, who on earth could have given orders to the Deputy Chief of Staff? It’s a mystery . . .

  85. 85
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Christie already publicly admitted personally putting out the cones on the GWB.

    Sure, he got the reporter to think he was joking, but that’s the best kind of non-denial denial.

    Would someone please pull up the bridge webcam footage and check?

  86. 86
    Jilli says:

    The the doofus’s (sp?) on the right believe that Pres. Obama had intimate knowledge of the activity in an IRS office in BFE, and that Christie didn’t know what was going on in his own office. Man, the gullibility of the right is just astounding – it’s like shooting rubes in a barrel.

    I’m just not buying what he’s selling.

  87. 87
    buma says:

    The NSA can show us what the emails look like without the blackouts. I say let’s turn all the cards face up, since Christie is such a fine straight-shootin’ guy.

  88. 88
    Phoenix Woman says:

    @the Conster: ‘Tis true, one can seldom go wrong with betting on Rove Fournier to lead the GOP tongue-bathing charge.

  89. 89
    Peter_in_Kobe says:

    @Cervantes: Fiasco?

  90. 90
    Eric says:

    @elmo: A conspiracy of senior Christie staff members and political appointees did not secretly carry out the Ft. Lee lane closures for four days – Christie knew. Look at the story he spun today; it requires a willful suspension of disbelief. We could go on at length about all the inconsistencies and holes, but suffice it to say, this is one of those complicated, multi-person lies that are impossible to be maintained. Wildly improbable, he appears to nevertheless be think it is his best shot, assuming he can stall until interest in the investigation is distracted by other scandals. But, dogged local reporters are not going to go away; Rachel Maddow is going to keep after the story. The FBI and DOJ are working on it. And the subpoena powers he was hoping would lapse in the New Jersey Legislature will not only be extended, they may be given to the Port Authority too. So, his lie will crumble. David Wildstein will stick with taking the 5th for now, but he will take the plea deal a prosecutor offers him in due course. So will the rest of them. Christie may think his swagger is that of a Jersey mafia guy, but his staff is not bound by a vow of omerta. Christie holds power through a fear of retribution that will itself be reduced to nothing by this gross over-reach using that very tactic. It’s a tale almost worthy of Hawthorne’s talents.

  91. 91

    […] reflects a strategy – one intended to maximize the wealth of those it serves. The pundits cheering Christie’s press conference performance, like Politico’s Mark Halperin and […]

  92. 92

    […] pundits cheering Christie’s press conference performance, like Politico’s Mark Halperin and […]

  93. 93
    Wizbing says:

    I despise Mark Halperin, a mediocre and hopelessly biased tool, but his comment here is hardly an endorsement of Christie. Halperin is skeptical of Christie’s “all-in” position

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