Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chris Christie's Really Very Bad Day Was a Long Time Coming

Can Chris Christie master his own disaster?

I'm in Florida just finishing up a National Science Foundation conference about broadening participation in computing -- emphasis on women and other minorities -- so I've been out of my usual blogging practices loop. Learning a lot about my one area of "expertise," in quotes because I'm not the smartest guy or gal in the room at these events.

Chris Christie, politically at least, is often the smartest guy in the room, until today. Now some think he's the smartest piece of toast in the room. Ezra Klein thinks so:
It's not an accident that Christie emerged in a period when the Republican Party is out of power. His videos make them feel powerful at a moment when they're weak.
The reason Chris Christie is so good at this is that Chris Christie is actually a bully. That doesn't mean he's not also a nice guy who cares deeply about his family and his constituents and his country. It doesn't mean he's not an unusually honest politician who's refreshingly free of cant and willing to question his party. There's a lot about Christie that's deeply appealing. But there's one big thing that's not: He's someone who uses his office to intimidate people and punish or humiliate perceived enemies.
Read the whole piece and watch the video of him actually being a bully. This scandal that's emerging is built around just why a bully of this magnitude ought not be considered as the person to run this country.

Anybody -- Marion Barry, for one -- can overcome a scandal, given enough time. And this is New Jersey. But Chris Christie doesn't look so good right now. And what's worth, a pretty mouthy guy -- yeah, Chris Christie -- is silent today, except for a terse text message. Cat got your tongue, you fucking wise guy, huh?

Footnote. I remember, right after Barbara Buono lost so badly to Christie in the governor's race, a segment on MSNBC -- I don't recall whose show -- during which State Senator Buono claimed that she lost so badly, in part, because the Democrats in New Jersey didn't get behind her because they were so intimidated by the Christie political machine. I couldn't understand where she was coming from, that maybe it was sour grapes. Since this scandal that's evolving originates from a punitive bridge closing to harm a Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, for not endorsing Chris Christie for governor, it shows Barbara Buono to be pretty savvy about how Christie does business in his state.

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