On December 9th and 10th, two important things happened that will almost certainly end the possibility that New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie will become the U.S. President.
First, the local New York City CBS-TV affiliate headlined the 9th, "Officials On George Washington Bridge Closures: There Was No Traffic Study," and the next day Amanda Terkel of Huffington Post made this local news story national by placing the incident into its broader political context, bannering "Chris Christie Administration In A Jam Over Charges Of Using Busiest U.S. Bridge In Political Payback."
Terkel explained that the excuse that the Christie Administration had given for temporarily closing two of the three NJ-side access lanes to the nation's busiest bridge, the George Washington Bridge connecting NJ with NYC, and for thereby having caused terrific traffic tie-ups there, was now almost certain to have been fictitious, a lie; and that the real reason that this had been done by the Christie administration was simply in order to punish the Mayor of Fort Lee NJ, who had failed to endorse Chris Christie for re-election.
As Terkel explained: "The shutdown was ordered by a political appointee of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Christie's administration said the closure was justified due to a traffic study, while Democrats questioned whether it was political retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee, who weeks before had refused to endorse Christie's reelection. But on Monday, the top Port Authority official threw cold water on the Christie administration's claim, testifying at a state Assembly hearing that he didn't know about any traffic study. The Christie ally who ordered the closure, David Wildstein, resigned on Friday." Wildstein had been a buddy of Christie's ever since high school together. "Wildstein ordered the closures on Sunday, Sept. 8.... The move created a 'horror story' of traffic jams in Fort Lee the next day -- the first day of school in the borough -- with cars backed up into local streets. The access lanes reopened on Sept. 13, upon the orders of the Port Authority's executive director, Patrick Foye, an appointee of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)." Furthermore: "When asked if he knew about a traffic study, Foye replied, 'I don't. I'm not aware of any traffic study,' Foye said. 'I don't know why it was done.' Christie's office has declined further comment."
The reader-comments to Terkel's devastating report indicate that, if anything, the "bi-partisan" Governor of New Jersey is now viewed, in the wake of this news-report, as being not only hyper-partisan, but a total fraud for claiming to be something else.
Chris Christie's sole argument as a potential U.S. President has actually been that he places the public's interests above his own and does not discriminate against Democrats. He now comes across as being the very extreme opposite of that.
No amount of stomach-surgery will now be able to doll him up to fit into the Oval Office. The Republican Party will thus inevitably choose an overt fascist (extreme conservative) to represent them in the 2016 Presidential race.
This means that whomever the Democratic party chooses to represent Democrats in 2016 will be a virtual shoe-in for the presidency, unless another Ralph Nader comes along and throws the Electoral College count to the Republican (as Nader did to Bush in 2000 -- throwing both Florida and NH to Bush).
All of the stars are now lined up for Hillary Clinton to become President, the goal she has passionately sought for decades. The only two realistic scenarios for preventing that are (1) the progressive wing of the Democratic party uniting around Elizabeth Warren, the only progressive in the party who might possibly be able to beat the conservative (except on feminist issues) Hillary Clinton in Democratic primaries; or (2) a fake "progressive" like Nader running as a third-party candidate in the 2016 Presidential elections and sucking enough foolish voters away from the Democratic nominee so as to make Paul Ryan or some other Republican our next President.
Basically, it will be progressives who, by their actions between now and Election Day 2016, will determine whom our next President will be. If they unite around Warren and Warren decides to run, then there will be a possibility that the reign of conservatives since 1980 -- by Republicans and conservative Democrats (Obama and the Clintons) -- will end. Otherwise, not. Progressives hold the nation's fate in their hands, if they wish. And, if they don't care, then, this time around, they will be marginalizing themselves, and not merely destroying the nation.
Because Chris Christie is now practically out of the running.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.