I watched/listened to the long mea culpa press conference of Gov. Christ Christie (R-NJ) yesterday. If he wanted to have any sort of future in politics or, for that matter, running a business, he did what he had to do: apologize, fire the most visible culprit, sound contrite, and then move on. Okay, done.
As I listened to the conference, one thing kept bugging me: why choose a bridge closing to exact political revenge? What’s gained by that? Didn’t they learn anything from the Bush administration and Valerie Plame? If you’re going to punish your political opponents, go for them personally, not their constituents, because the voters will never get the connection. All they got was a traffic jam, which they’ll blame on the bridge operators, not the mayor of the town next to the bridge.
And of course, John Cole at Balloon Juice beats me to it: “It doesn’t matter if Christie was involved or not, what was the fucking point? All it was was a dick move that fucked over a lot of people. No political point was made (until they got caught). No one on the bridge stuck there for hours thought ‘Well God Damned. I’ll not vote Democrat again.’”
I don’t know if this is the end of Mr. Christie’s future in American politics other than to become a replacement for the epic Sgt. Schultz defense: “I know nothing! I see nothing!” I’m pretty sure the polling will prove that he came out as having done the right thing, although I wonder what kind of lasting impression it will leave on the voters of New Jersey and the Republican primary voters in two years to stand at a podium for almost two hours and tell the world that you’re clueless as to what’s going on in your office and that even under grilling by top staff they will still unable to get the person who sent the e-mail to come clean. That doesn’t sound like someone who could run your average large business, much less a White House or executive branch.