Chris Christie: What Is the Sound of One Heel Charring?

Jason Grant, at the NJ Star-Ledger:

David Wildstein, the former Port Authority official at the center of the George Washington Bridge lane-closings scandal, spent several days meeting with federal prosecutors in Newark last week, according to a report posted online by a Washington-based publication that says it covers “insider news” about the U.S. Department of Justice…

On Friday, The Star-Ledger and other news organizations reported that Fishman’s office is now hearing testimony from witnesses in front of a federal grand jury in Newark, a significant step that shows the growing seriousness and depth of the investigation. Michael Drewniak, the chief spokesman for Christie, testified in front of the grand jury on Friday, his lawyer confirmed…

The hearing of grand-jury testimony in the bridge scandal is considered a major development. What began as a preliminary inquiry when U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced in January that he would try to determine whether any federal laws have been “implicated” has now morphed into a deepening criminal probe to decide whether federal laws have been broken…

John Cassidy, at the New Yorker:

Thanks to the Bridgegate scandal, and the torrent of e-mails, internal documents, and unvarnished interviews it unleashed, we have been able to see the real Christie, and it isn’t an edifying sight. It’s so ugly, in fact, that Christie will almost certainly not survive its public display. “I really don’t know about the Presidency,” Joy Behar, the former co-host of “The View,” said to Christie at a recent political roast in Newark, which Ryan recounts in his piece. “Let me put it to you this way, in a way that you’d appreciate: You’re toast.” Behar may have been joking: she is a comedienne. But, with a federal grand jury busy hauling in Christie’s aides to explain what they know about the Bridgegate scandal, there can’t be many people who disagree with her analysis…

On Friday, one of Christie’s longtime aides, Michael Drewniak, gave testimony to the grand jury. (He is not a target, his attorney told ABC News.) According to some reports, the criminal investigation could take up to eighteen months. With all this hanging over the Governor, it seems almost inconceivable that he would plunge into a Presidential campaign. If he did, he would be inviting attacks not just from Democrats but from some Republicans as well, and particularly from Thomas Kean, Sr., the former Republican Governor of the state, who for many years served as Christie’s mentor and close adviser.

Last year, for reasons that remain murky, Christie turned against Kean’s son, Thomas Kean, Jr., who was running for reëlection as the minority leader in the New Jersey state senate. Despite the Governor’s opposition, Kean, Jr., won the vote, but he and his father did not forgive and forget. In January, after Christie, in a two-hour press conference, denied knowing anything about the lane closures, the senior Kean went on MSNBC and said that, while he believed Christie, “I think there are still unanswered questions” about why his appointees did what they did. In an interview with Ryan, Kean went further, asking whether Christie had “created an atmosphere in which some of those people thought they were doing his will because they were getting back at people.” He added, “If you cross Christie, he’ll come back at you, even years later. So his people might have picked up that kind of thing.”

This, remember, is Christie’s former friend and sponsor—a man who has known him since he was a teen-ager, who gave him his start in politics, and who wrote to President George W. Bush to support his 2002 appointment as the United States Attorney for New Jersey, the post he used as a springboard to the governorship. If Christie can’t get Kean and others who know him well to vouch for him, how is he going to get the support of his fellow Republicans, let alone independents and Democrats?…

Given the GOP penchant for vindictive venality, one can never say never about any Repub’s chances of ‘redemption’. But right now, I suspect there are a few former Romney oppo-research aides congratulating each other on having avoided at least one bullet.

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43 replies
  1. 1
    piratedan says:

    Hope that this petty excuse for a politician gets his comeuppance, wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still sitting on Sandy funds to make sure that he gets his kickbacks and bennies to his cronies instead of serving the people of his state whose lives were ruined by the storm.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    This, remember, is Christie’s former friend and sponsor

    Read that as friend and lover. Need coffee.

  3. 3
    Amir Khalid says:

    Deep down Chris Christie isn’t a complicated person: he’s a samseng, a hoodlum, through and through. He just doesn’t hide it well enough in public office.

  4. 4
    Betty Cracker says:

    I never thought Christie’s bully boy act would play all that well outside the Northeast anyway, which is a problem for him since he is in the party of Dixie. Not that Dixie doesn’t appreciate a bully; Southern Republicans love a jackboot as much as their Northern brethren. But Christie’s manifestation of that phenomenon always struck me as having limited regional appeal. Looks like I’ll never get to see my theory tested.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Only a billionaire can save him now.

  6. 6
    amk says:

    Is there any investigation of his sandy funds cronies corruption? That might yield better & bigger skeletons.

  7. 7
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “Last year, for reasons that remain murky, Christie turned against Kean’s son,” Sounds juicy. Someone needs to get on with researching this pronto.

    Behar is so right. I doubt that he would have won the Presidency even without the bridge scandal. I’m sure he’s smart enough to know this by now.

  8. 8
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Amir Khalid: He hid it enough to get reelected. For some reason, he (and his cohorts) miscalculated about the bridge shenanigans getting out to the public.

  9. 9
    danielx says:

    A New Jersey version of Richard Nixon.

    A truly appalling thought.

  10. 10
    debbie says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Christie got too cocky. Didn’t think that all those “ordinary” citizens wouldn’t lash out after the massive inconvenience.The average Jerseyite is just as mouthy and obnoxious as Christie.

  11. 11
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Betty Cracker: Southerners may like “tough” but Christie is massively, publicly rude, and not just to people they already hate. My experience is that the south values politeness. Hence the whole “bless her heart” thing.

  12. 12
    eric says:

    I hate to piss on the parade, but i remember when the Internet was ablaze because Romney refused to release his taxes and many (most) thought this was the End. He waited it out, and meh — the American people, by and large, thought it was a nothing-burger. So, just because pundits and internet-howler monkeys like us think something SHOULD matter, that does not mean that it WILL matter. As another example, Rick Scott was running a company that was actually GUILTY and the fine folks in Florida gave a collective “welcome to the governor’s mansion.” Me? I will wait until the last strike in the last inning before I write any political obituary as to Christie, Hillary, Jeb, Walker, et al.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    CBS is talking about Jeb Bush and his going after hot button issues, such as immigration, It hasn’t dawned on anyone that maybe because of Jeb’s wife, he doesn’t have a choice but support immigration.

  14. 14
    eric says:

    @IowaOldLady: yes, but the south went for a Mormon who personified the Oligarchy more than anyone running in 2012. Yet, again poor white protestant southerners lined up to vote for the rich mormon douche.

  15. 15
    amk says:

    @eric: In the end, mittbot lost, despite the goosestepping right wing. Driving the meme as a tax dodger and 1%er for months did make a difference.

  16. 16
    eric says:

    @amk: He lost in the general, not in the primary, and it is not as if Christie would have to face any better candidates than Mitt did in the GOP primary. So the notion that he can’t win the nomination is premature.

    As for the general, i think you could argue that the GOP dismissive approach to women and minorities was a huge factor, independent of any one candidate in the general. I dont know that any GOP candidate does better than any other, but you cant win the presidency if you are not in the general and Mitt was in the general, which gave him better odds than 300 million people in the US.

  17. 17
    Suffern ACE says:

    @amk: yeah. But that will get Democrat skulls, too. Which is for the best, I’m sure.

  18. 18
    danielx says:

    @eric:

    This is true. Political comebacks aren’t exactly uncommon and they include some from people who you’d swear had been dumped in the Potomac with concrete blocks chained to their ankles, politically speaking. Political comebacks pale by comparison with media/Villager fuckups, though – generally those people never have to come back from any mistake, no matter how egregious. Look at Bloody Bill Kristol, for example – he’s made a career out of being wrong but seems to fall upwards after every failed prediction or policy prescription, and is a guest every Sunday morning on one of the various broadcasts of Variety for Very Serious People.

    But back to our man Chris – Richard Nixon came back, so why not Christie? He’s a relatively young man; plenty of time for him to shed fifty pounds and reincarnate himself as a repentant yet expert sinner who knows how the game is played. What could be better? Unless he’s actually indicted for something, in which case he’s not only toast but burnt toast.

  19. 19
    Suffern ACE says:

    @JPL: not really. Having an immigrant wife never stopped Lou Dobbs from jumping on that issue. Jeb Bush’s wife isn’t one of the lower class immigrants that our current laws try to harass.

  20. 20
    amk says:

    @eric: The issue is the presidency, which the thug can’t win, if we keep exposing his thuggery.

    @Suffern ACE: Are any of the skulls running for president?

  21. 21
    Abo gato says:

    @Baud: yeah, but he pissed in the billionaire’s cereal with his “occupied territories” remark.

  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @eric:

    Yet, again poor white protestant southerners lined up to vote for the rich mormonwhite douche

    FTFY.

  23. 23
    Citizen_X says:

    Apparently, Christie’s got a major case of Bridge Hate: he’s either blocking them, or burning them.

  24. 24
    coin operated says:

    Looking at the bench, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Jeb ran and got the nod. Republicans love them some lunatics in the spotlight, but when it comes to the nomination and the general, they *always* pick someone who is relatively moderate in front of the camera. McCain….Mitt…Jeb wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

    Christie? He’s just as toasty as Behar said he is.

  25. 25
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Given the GOP penchant for vindictive venality, one can never say never about any Repub’s chances of ‘redemption’.

    The real problem for Christie is this is to much fun watching him squirm. Nixon came across as how dare you, with Christie it’s clear he knows he did something wrong.

  26. 26
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @eric:

    it is not as if Christie would have to face any better candidates than Mitt did in the GOP primary.

    I keep hearing this, but I think it’s nonsense. Last time, the anti-Mitts on the base side were Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum, with Sarah Palin briefly pretending that she might run. (We can ignore Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman on the non-base side.) With the exception of Perry, this was a collection of has-beens and never-wases. Santorum, a guy who couldn’t even win re-election as Senator in his home state, wound up as the surviving anti-Mitt practically by default.

    This time, the GOP has Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum vying to be the not-Jeb or not-Chris or whoever. I don’t think there’s a one of those that Chris Christie could beat, even if he gets the blessing of the big-money boys.

  27. 27
    low-tech cyclist says:

    right now, I suspect there are a few former Romney oppo-research aides congratulating each other on having avoided at least one bullet.

    Wouldn’t it have been a hoot if, having run Sarah Palin for veep in 2008, they’d selected Christie for that role in 2012?

    Too bad they can’t resurrect Spiro Agnew from the dead, and have him be the next veep candidate.

  28. 28
    JPL says:

    @Suffern ACE: Thanks for the correction. I forgot about adding wealthy to IOKIYR.

  29. 29
    Hal says:

    Why didn’t the shot hit the fan before the election? Buono might have come a shell of a lot closer to a win, maybe even scraped by. The presumed inevitability seemed to make everyone just accept a Christie win.

  30. 30
    eric says:

    @low-tech cyclist: Everyone thought Perry would plow the field in 2012. The very reason that Christie is talked about is that everyone on your list would start out as HEAVY underdogs to Hillary or any dem candidate.

  31. 31
    coin operated says:

    @eric:

    Everyone thought Perry would plow the field in 2012.

    I lived in Texas during his time as LtGov and Governor, and knew he would flame out spectacularly in the national spotlight. He made a number statements that reached Palin-level incoherence during his tenure, and I figured it was only a matter of time before he opened his mouth and said something so stupid he’d be dismissed.

  32. 32
    Mandalay says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    This time, the GOP has Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum vying to be the not-Jeb or not-Chris or whoever. I don’t think there’s a one of those that Chris Christie could beat…

    Dead right, and add Romney – who surely has some inside dirt on Christie – to that list as well. Christie doesn’t have a hope.

    And forget the Bridge stuff – images of Christie hugging Obama will come back to haunt him in a big way. That might be seen as presidential behavior by some Independents, but not by many Republicans.

  33. 33
    Fred says:

    Wouldn’t it have been a hoot if, having run Sarah Palin for veep in 2008, they’d selected Christie for that role in 2012?

    I think Paul Ryan’s phony holier than thou act added up with Mitt’s phony holier than everybody act to bring the point home to American voters what sanctimonious douches they would be saddled with for four years. Christie might have defused the stink with his phony everyman act just enough to squeak them into the WH. I thank heaven for Ryan’s snobbish declaration, “What a snob!” add in the phony dish washing and you have those grifting creeps in a nutshell.

  34. 34
    Wally Ballou says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Too bad they can’t resurrect Spiro Agnew from the dead, and have him be the next veep candidate.

    Nattering nabobs of necromancy?

  35. 35
    WereBear says:

    If @low-tech cyclist: Too bad they can’t resurrect Spiro Agnew from the dead, and have him be the next veep candidate.

    If they could do that it would be Reagan. Every single time.

    Heck, throw in cloning, and every candidate could be a Ronnie!

  36. 36
    Mike in NC says:

    But only bully boy Chris Christie could protect us from bully boy Vlad Putin!

  37. 37
    rikyrah says:

    @JPL:
    He has a brown wife and Brown children. Jeb can’t exactly get around that…..and the point is…
    JEB SHOULDN’T HAVE TO.

    And I can’t stand Jeb.

  38. 38
    Bobby Thomson says:

    from the linked New Yorker:

    If Christie can’t get Kean and others who know him well to vouch for him, how is he going to get the support of his fellow Republicans

    Kean is a Republican.

  39. 39
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Wally Ballou:

    Nattering nabobs of necromancy?

    Nice one! I’m gonna have to find an opportunity to use that somewhere, sometime.

  40. 40
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Kean is a Republican.

    Only kinda sorta, by today’s standards.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Another thing we’ve learned in all this is that Chris Christie’s sense of smell is impaired.

    I’m on the left coast, and I can smell his crusts burning, he’s not picking up a thing.

  42. 42
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @low-tech cyclist: Yeah, but this isn’t the NRO making a backhanded dig. This is the New Yorker just fucking up.

  43. 43
    StringOnAStick says:

    @rikyrah: I did not realize that Jeb is married to a Hispanic woman. This makes it very clear to me why his snobbish, racist battle axe of a mother has pooh-poohed him running for pres, saying there has been enough Bushes in the White House. Suddenly it all makes sense: she supported Dubya because that incurious mama’s boy had the good sense to marry a white woman, while the clearly more intelligent Jeb has committed a sin her blue blood simply can not tolerate.

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