Bridgegate: Governor Christie's Political Downfall?

I was totally surprised by this developing story.  In September 2013, several of Governor Chris Christie's top aides decided to exact political retribution against the Mayor of Fort Lee, NJ.  On the first day of school, they decided to trim the number of lanes entering the George Washington Bridge from three to one.  The boneheaded actions caused traffic delays that lasted up to four hours.  Even though the delays might not have been the cause, a 91 year old woman died while waiting for emergency medical services.

The timing of this story breaking now could not have been worse for Governor Christie.  He was being hailed as a star within the Republican Party.  In fact he was doing work on behalf of the National Republican Governor's Association.  He became the Chairman of this powerful board this year.  He had jockeyed with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal back in 2012 over who would lead the organization.  The position controls a budget of $150 million.  It also involves leadership leading up to 2015 when 36 gubernatorial contests will occur.  Governor Christie's brash leadership style will be challenged to the fullest.

The Governor held a nearly two hour news conference today.  He fired the alleged initiator of Bridgegate, Bridget Ann Kelly, who will live in infamy for the phrase, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee".
The Governor's high school friend, David Wildstein, resigned from his job in December when it became apparent that a traffic study was not the cause of the major traffic snafu.  Bill Baroni, a confidant who was set to chair New Jersey's Republican Party, was asked to resign by Governor Christie and he lost a consultant jog with the Republican Governor's Association..  Mr. Wildstein invoked the 5th Amendment numerous times today under questioning from a state assembly.  Knowing how tough the job market is, I wonder where these individuals will land.

I could just imagine sitting in the man made traffic jams for up to four hours.  Truckers would have lost money based on late deliveries.  Hourly workers would have lost cash for petty, politically motivated drama.  School children were forced to be late because of a lack of loyalty on the part of a Democratic mayor.  What in the name of political retribution is going on here.  I was looking forward to the rise of a younger Republican to challenge the Democrats in 2016.  John McCain and Mitt Romney were both mid to late sixties when they became their party's nominees.  I like Paul Ryan from Wisconsin also.  Sarah Palin was a figment of the Tea Party imagination and should remain that way.  Governor Christie's apologetic press conference might help to ameliorate his tough guy image.

The Attorney General's office of the State of New Jersey will conduct an independent investigation.  A concern of most voters and people affected by this event would want to know why it took four days and the intervention of Governor Cuomo's appointee to the Port Authority Board to clear the closures.  Also, Governor Christie will have to explain why he didn't react to the terrible impact caused to drivers on one of the busiest bridges in the world.  Inquiring minds are already conjecturing about the Governor's future presidential aspirations.  He was decisive in his firings.  Will his childhood friend implicate him or fall completely on the sword.  Where will Bridget Ann Kelly resurface?  The Governor is in Fort Lee, NJ apologizing this afternoon.  The fallout has just begun though.

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