By David Wanetick, Princeton, NJ
Governor Christie claims to have had no prior knowledge of the September George Washington Bridge closing orchestrated by his staff for purposes of political retribution against Fort Lee’s mayor. Why would he? He is above petty and partisan politics. At least that is what Governor Christie wants us to believe.
But is it really difficult to imagine that a man who has inflicted such enormous damage on his own party through his calculated and duplicitous behavior would not be at least equally vengeful against unsupportive mayors from the opposing political party? Let’s review some recent history.
Chris Christie was given his party’s highest honor when he was chosen to deliver the keynote address at the Republican Convention in August 2012. Instead of ginning up support for the Republican presidential nominee when he had the chance to appeal to tens of millions of voters, Christie made an ostentatiously narcissist speech that trivialized Mr. Romney. A day or two later, Christie claimed not to understand what was expected of him in delivering the keynote address. Are we really to believe that Chris Christie didn’t know that the Republican Convention was about getting that party’s candidate elected?
Did Mr. Christie correct his behavior after disgracing himself at the convention? No.
He shamefully used the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy to enshrine nearly every step President Obama made during his visits and to rhapsodize about the President’s calls in connection with restoration efforts. At a time when he could have been very constructive in helping the Romney campaign, Christie was giddy in his constant Obama worship. Christie sounded more like a teenage girl’s first encounter with a suitor than a statesman in relating Obama’s telephone calls to him. (Here is Christie cooing over his late night calls with Obama, “…President Obama called me last night around midnight … I have to say the.…president himself…. have been outstanding with us so far..….. I want to thank the president personally for his personal attention to this.”)
By any measure, New York Governor and Democrat Andrew Cuomo accepted far fewer photo ops with Obama and handled the Hurricane Sandy calamity at least as skillfully as Christie. Governor Cuomo accomplished great feats in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy without endless displays of gratuitous obsequiousness. And if Mr. Christie honestly believed that uninhibited groveling to Obama was a key factor in restoration, why did his public affection for the President drop precipitously immediately after the 2012 election?
I am not aware of any other Republican demonstrating such perfidy against his political party after having so recently received its most coveted honor. For instance, Zell Miller, Rudy Giuliani, Susan Molinari, Phil Gramm, to name a few Republican keynoters, all acted honorably towards their respective Republican presidential nominees. By his backstabbing of Romney while masquerading under the thin veneer of “working with the President to do what’s right for New Jersey”, Christie is the Republican most responsible for Obama’s re-election. Why there is even discussion that Christie’s treachery could be rewarded with a Republican nomination for his presidential candidacy is beyond my comprehension.
Did Mr. Christie’s duplicity against his political party cease after the 2012 presidential election? No.
When Senator Lautenberg passed away in June 2013, Governor Christie could have done what many other governors have done which is to appoint a senator from his own party to serve in the Senate until the next election. Not only did Christie refrain from taking such legitimate action but he went an ignominious step further. He ordered a special election about a week before the general election. At an unnecessary expense of a reported $25 million, Christie orchestrated this charade to ensure that Cory Booker’s popularity would not erode Christie’s margin of victory in his quest for gubernatorial re-election. Are we to believe that Christie did not know that Cory Booker was popular? Did Christie really not know that the election for the successor to Mr. Lautenberg could be facilitated concurrently with the general gubernatorial election?
Why would any Republican stand up for a man who has shot down its most promising candidates?
Christie’s backstabbing of Romney and New Jersey Republican US Senatorial Candidate Steve Lonegan has been spun by the Christie camp as indicia that Christie is above partisanship. How does the potentially life-threatening collective punishment meted out to thousands of New Jersey commuters (when the Christie camp engineered a four-day traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge as punishment for a Democrat mayor withholding support for Christie) fit into the thesis of Christie being above partisan politics? Obviously, it doesn’t.
It is time to connect the dots in Christie’s actions and behavior. It is time to stop being bedazzled by the silvery and bloviating oratory of disingenuous and deceitful politicians.
Mr. Wanetick’s views are his own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of MoreMonmouthMusings, Art Gallagher, or Gallco Media, LLC. Submissions are always welcome. Send submissions via email to [email protected]