Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, has a problem. His candidacy for president of the US is just about over. He seems to have placed himself in a box with no way out. Let me explain.
Christie tried to make a name for himself by his “hands-on” style of leadership. A straight-talking-no-nonsense- get-things-done kind of guy. His photo ops in the aftermath of the Sandy hurricane are legion. Talking with common folks. Giving assurances. The man was in charge. And the man was gettin it done!
Now come the scandals, or problems. The closing of the George Washington Bridge lanes by one of his staff. The lack of oversight over the distribution of federal Sandy aid. The allegations of linking Sandy aid to political favors. The construction of high rises with Sandy money. The connections with Christie and key business associates in the Hoboken land deal. Which raise the issue.
If Christie is a hands-on get things done kind of guy, was he involved in all these shenanigans? Was he privy to any of these questionable, possibly illegal dealings? If so, he has problems. Corruption.
If Christie, as he claims, knew nothing (What did I do? What did I do?) that raises another issue. At least two of his close associates and staff have already taken the 5th amendment. Does not mean they were guilty of a crime, but it does mean their lawyers think they MAY be guilty of incriminating themselves. Christie’s hand-picked employee at the Port Authority has already left and is seeking a deal with the federal prosecutors. And there are others. So, if Christie was NOT involved in any of these activities (the bridge, the land deals, the misuse of Sandy aid) what does this tell us about his judgement?
Is he so gullible as to surround himself with potential criminals. Or least people with incredibly poor judgement and a seeming lack of ethics ? So far all those under investigation have been political employees, not civil servants. All were brought in by Christie or his people. Does this tell us he has extremely poor judgement when it comes to hiring ?
In either case Christie is in trouble as far a place on the national ticket is concerned. Do we want a president who uses his office to illegally funnel money to his friends or to punish folks who live in areas that do not endorse him ? Do we want a president who is so naive as to surround himself with crooks and incompetents ?
No matter how this plays out in New Jersey, you can be sure the GOP presidential hopefuls will be lining up to take Christie down if he has the arrogance to consider himself worthy to be considered for the presidency.