Rumors of Chris Christie's Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
The idea that his involvement in a bridge-closure scandal will end his political career deserves a healthy dose of skepticism.
David A. Graham Jan 8 2014, 2:54 PM ET
It's a bad day for Chris Christie. Like, even worse than stuck-in-traffic-for-hours-trying-to-get-over-the-bridge bad. But let's not overstate it.
The New Jersey governor has been tangentially involved in a scandal over the closure of several lanes of the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York. The bridge is run by a bi-state agency, the Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey, and David Wildstein, a Christie-appointed Port Authority official violated protocol last fall by suddenly shutting down lanes of traffic on the bridge. Wildstein resigned last month. Christie has long denied accusations that the closure was political, but records obtained by the Bergen Record show that a top Christie aide ordered the closure—apparently as retribution against Fort Lee, the borough on the Jersey side of the bridge whose mayor had made the mistake of not endorsing Christie for reelection. Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly wrote: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."
Other materials in the records show banter of the mustache-twirling-villain variety. In one passage, Wildstein and an unidentified correspondent texted and joked about Barbara Buono, the Democrat whom Christie routed in November, and school buses:
Person: Is it wrong that I’m smiling
Person: I feel badly about the kids
Wildstein: They are the children of Buono voters
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