The Norman Transcript

Columns

January 13, 2014

In wake of scandal, Christie blames others

NORMAN — What kind of politician is Chris Christie? If you buy Christie’s explanation at a news conference Thursday, the New Jersey governor is a victim. He is the victim of a scheming, lying aide and a scheming, lying old high school friend he appointed to the Port Authority. And because the investigations are just getting started, he may learn of other scheming, lying members of his administration who have driven this poor man’s reputation into a ditch.

Christie insisted that he knew nothing of a vindictive plan to shut a couple lanes of traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., near the George Washington Bridge to punish a mayor who declined to support the governor in the recent election.

“I am who I am, but I am not a bully,” Christie implored.

Do you believe that? Time will tell as more is uncovered.

Either way, it is instructive to note that even at this political low point, Christie spent more time bemoaning how he was lied to than empathizing with the thousands of New Jersey and New York residents harmed by this petty plot. The bridge is a major artery connecting people to jobs and routing all sorts of commerce — not to mention its role for life-saving ambulances that were delayed by the traffic gridlock.

Christie has fired his deputy chief of staff and his former campaign manager, both people who would have been important players in his expected bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

The deputy chief had sent an email “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” The Port Authority appointee replied, “Got it,” and shut down the lanes. In subsequent emails, the two banter with a not-yet-identified third person about how the lane closures would discomfit New Jerseyans who had voted for Christie’s Democratic opponent. The mayor of Fort Lee, a Democrat, had declined to endorse Christie as governor. That’s the leading theory for why his town was singled out for this treatment. For now, let’s take the governor at his word that he had no idea what his inner circle of aides was doing. “What did I do wrong to have these folks think it was OK to lie to me?” he implored, rhetorically, at his presser.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014