Christie the Clueless

“The entire thing, from hiring politically connected Christie-allied lawyers to paying for the pricey investigation with public funds to crowing about the transparent snow job like it will actually convince anyone, looks like a stupid unforced error by Christie.  Even the ‘objective’ press is highlighting the attorneys’ links to Christie and the fact that New Jersey taxpayers are on the hook for $1 million spent solely to help their governor recover from a scandal. Starting with the New York Times’ initial story on the review, nearly every news organization has (appropriately) treated the report as an unconvincing attempt to venerate Christie and pin everything on a few obvious scapegoats who, conveniently, didn’t cooperate with the investigation.  No one is buying it, and in thinking he could get the political press to play along, Christie just insulted a class of people who were formerly among his most valuable allies.

“Perhaps the single dumbest aspect of the report and its unveiling is how it invites a backlash from the people the report blames for the scandal, especially the already pissed-off David Wildstein and former top Christie aide Bridget Kelly, who is subject to shockingly sexist treatment in the review.  Painting your once fiercely loyal aide as an unhinged emotional wreck is probably a good way to get her to start opening up to the press and the less friendly investigators at the U. S. attorney’s office.  Kelly’s lawyer has already all-but-declared that Kelly will cooperate with the U. S. attorney in exchange for immunity.  Chris Christie’s stunt probably helped her make that decision.

“If this is the best Christie can do, he doesn’t deserve to get anywhere near the presidency. And the sorts of Republican elders who were once his biggest fans probably feel the same way. Christie would’ve been better off shutting up and waiting it out instead of trying to exonerate himself on an accelerated schedule. Once he decided to hire some lawyers to issue a report, he should’ve made sure that the lawyers put forth a better show of independence and objectivity. Better stage management — a report that took longer to prepare and that assigned some sort of responsibility to Christie, for appearance’s sake — could’ve salvaged Christie’s future. Instead, he just showed the country how lousy a politician he actually is.”

Alex Pareene,  “Chris Christie flunks Scandal Response 101:  Why he’s handling it disastrously,”Salon

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