bureaucracybusters

CHRISTIE COULD HAVE BEEN A VICTIM…OF ROMNEY

In Bureaucracy, Law, Politics on January 15, 2014 at 1:49 am

“Bully!” is the charge now being hurled at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

The reason: On September 9, 2012, two months before Christie’s re-election, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed two of the three lanes that lead to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, across the Hudson from Manhattan.

The result?  Days of massive traffic jams in Fort Lee, where Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich had refused to endorse Christie.

Christie has fired his former aide, Bridget Kelly, “because she lied to me” about her role in causing the shutdown.

Chris Christie

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Trenton is investigating whether any federal laws were broken. Both the Port Authority’s inspector-general and state Sen. Barbara Buono, Christie’s opponent in November, have asked federal authorities to step in.

And State lawmakers on the General Assembly’s Transportation Committeeare still holding hearings into the bridge scandal.

Many politicians–both Democratic and Republican–believe the scandal has endangered Christie’s hopes for winning the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016.

Democrats, of course, are thrilled by this possibility.  But even many Republicans–who feel Christie isn’t Right-wing enough–have refused to defend him.

So far, no evidence has surfaced to prove that Christie ordered or knew about the shutdown.  But if it does, Christie could face civil lawsuits and even criminal prosecution.

Ironically, Christie himself almost certainly would have become a target for political revenge in 2013.

His nemesis?

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and Presidential candidate.

True, Christie gave a major address on behalf of Romney at the August Republican Convention.

And, true, Christie said he planned to vote for Romney on November 6.

But that might not have been enough to save him if Romney made it to the White House.

The reason: Romney and his handlers were angry that Christie had dared to praise President Barack Obama for his help after Hurricane Sandy ravished much of New Jersey on October 30, 2012.

Mitt Romney

During a briefing with emergency personnel, residents and press, Christie thanked Obama for holding a conference call with him and governors of other states expected to be impacted by the storm.

“I appreciated the president’s outreach today in making sure that we know he’s watching this and is concerned about the health and welfare and safety of the people of the state of New Jersey,” said Christie.

And–to the rising anger of Romney and his campaign staff–there had been more such praise.

Christie said that he and Obama had a private phone conversation to discuss how the federal government could help New Jersey. Obama told Christie that he could call him directly over the next 48 hours if the state government had issues with federal response to the hurricane in New Jersey.

“I appreciate that type of leadership,” Christie said of Obama.

For Romney and Right-wing Republicans, any praise of Obama was tantamount to treason.

With news reports saying that Romney’s campaign “bounce” had ended and that Obama was actually leading in several swing states, Romney’s handlers decided it was time to strike.

At Christie.

A November 3 article in Politico outlined the following:

  • Romney insiders said that Christie had been Romney’s first choice for the vice president.
  • But then Romney decided that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would be a safer choice due to some problems with Christie.
  • Some Romney friends and donors were irked by Christie’s embrace of Obama, which one referred to as “over the top.”
  • “If Romney wins, it won’t be forgotten,” a Romney adviser warned. “If Romney loses,  it doesn’t matter.”

Throughout the 2012 Presidential race, Romney displayed an arrogant sense of entitlement to the Oval Office.

Asked during an ABC News interview if he had anything to say to President Barack Obama, Romney said: “Start packing.”  As if the most powerful leader of the Western world should snap to attention at Mitt’s command.

And his wife, Anne, chinned in: “I believe it’s Mitt’s time. I believe the country needs the kind of leadership he’s going to offer… So I think it’s our turn now.”

John McCain, during the 2008 Presidential race, refused to stoop to race-baiting and slanderous attacks on Obama (such as claiming him to be from Kenya when Hawaii has a birth record with his name on it).

But Romney employed surrogates–like Donald Trump–to do his slander-mongering for him.

When Trump charged that Obama was not an American citizen or was “selling out” the United States to radical Islamics, Romney let the slanders stand.

So if Romney had been elected, it shouldn’t have surprised anyone if a fellow Republican–Chris Christie–became one of his primary targets for “revenge.”

The most likely form this could have taken would have been to deny Federal assistance or projects (such as highway construction) to New Jersey.

During his January 9 press conference where he announced the firing of his former aide, Christie repeatedly referred to himself as a “victm.”

Ironically, had Romney gained the White house, Christie might well have deserved that status.

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