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Sunday, February 02, 2014

Christie desperate, flailing, golden brown and crispy

Slice of toast with googly eyes
Politico: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, after a low-key initial response to Friday’s explosive allegations about his involvement in a bridge-closing scandal, mounted an aggressive defense late Saturday afternoon, attacking The New York Times and a former political ally in an email to friends and allies obtained by POLITICO.

“Bottom line — David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein,” the email from the governor’s office says, referring to the former appointee who reignited the controversy.

A letter from Wildstein’s lawyer, Alan L. Zegas of Chatham, N.J., asserted Friday that “evidence exists … tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the Governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference.”

The subject line of the 700-word email from the governor’s office is: “5 Things You Should Know About The Bombshell That’s Not A Bombshell.” It offers a harshly negative portrayal of Wildstein’s character and judgment.
The problem here is that the “5 things you should know” (did Christie get Buzzfeed to write that email, BTW?) is that they’re 5 very stupid and irrelevant things. The groundbreaking revelations are that Wildstein sued the school board when he was a student, that he was “publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior,” that he was once a not very popular or particularly good mayor, that he was once a blogger (an “anonymous” blogger, so I guess that’s scary), and that he had a “strange habit” of registering websites under other people’s names — a common enough practice in modern politics. You try to snatch up all the memorable URLs, leaving your opponent with choices like

He may or may not have done something questionable in high school? Really? That’s not even an actual accusation, it’s the illusion of an accusation.

"One person said we should see the release of this email as a message to funders," writes Josh Marshall. “If so, the message seems to be ‘I’m desperate and losing my mind.’”

But the message everyone else should take away from this is “I got nuthin’.” Christie is responding to very serious charges by a until-very-recently top Team Christie player — and the only thing he can manage are unserious charges about crap from high school. If the governor had anything that would stick — anything at all — he’d throw it. Instead, we get the political equivalent of “he smells and his mom dresses him funny.”

At this point, there’s pretty much no one who will argue that Chris Christie is not completely done for as a 2016 candidate — or possibly even as a governor. At least, no one with the exception of Rudy Giuliani, who for some unfathomable reason seems absolutely committed to hitching his wagon to Chris Christie’s star — even as that star sinks under the horizon.

Christie is finished. If he wasn’t, he’d have some sort of defense, instead of this ridiculous high school grievance smokescreen.

[photo via Wikimedia Commons]

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