Source: Mike Malloy
(image by Northeast Ohio Media Group)
Chris Christie is heading to CPAC next month to address the conservative crazies, who snubbed him last year for his perceived coziness with President Obama following the hurricane Sandy disaster.
The Conservative Political Action Conference is a veritable who's who in the GOP elite and presidential hopefuls, sending a clear message that in the eyes of CPAC, the bridgegate scandal has failed to knock the shine off Christie's Kripsy Kreme. You have to wonder if he'll still be their golden boy if the circle of scandal continues to tighten around his cold, snowy office.
Port Authority official David Wildstein has released new information suggesting that the Governor knew much more than he is admitting about the crippling bridge closures his staff allegedly ordered behind his back, without his consent or knowledge.
Still a pretty big pill to swallow, isn't it?
Camp Christie reacted -- predictably -- with a slam on Wildstein's character, stretching all the way back to an incident when he was a 16-year-old high school student in a desperate attempt to discredit him before the revelations take root.
Businessweek offers this brilliant analysis:
"To work, character assassination has to make sense. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seems to have forgotten this cardinal rule of political warfare.
"To review: Christie crony David Wildstein engineered the fateful traffic jams on the Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge, landing the pugnacious governor and 2016 Republican hopeful in a career-threatening morass. Wildstein, through his lawyer (pdf), says there's evidence that Christie knew much more about the traffic gambit -- an act of revenge aimed at the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. -- than the governor has so far admitted.
"The prospect of Wildstein, formerly a Christie-approved appointee at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, telling all he knows about Christie's role could escalate Bridgegate to Defcon Level 1. Why? Because federal prosecutors are looking for evidence of a criminal coverup. And as a moderate Republican pol from an earlier era taught us during the original "-gate" scandal, it's not so much the crime that hurts -- it's the coverup.
"So Christie and his legal SWAT team decide to go medieval on Wildstein. Here's what they came up with: 'In David Wildstein's past, people and newspaper accounts have described him as 'tumultuous' and someone who 'made moves that were not productive.' That's from a 700-word Christie hit memo first disclosed by Politico. The memo continues with this bill of particulars:
"'As a 16-year-old kid, he sued over a local school board election. He was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior. He had a controversial tenure as mayor of Livingston [N.J.]. He was an anonymous blogger known as Wally Edge. He had a strange habit of registering web addresses for other people's names without telling them.'
"'Bottom line,' the Christie broadside summed up, 'David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein.'
"OK, it's hard to argue with the idea that Wildstein is scrambling for political cover and legal immunity in hopes that if he can serve up his erstwhile political benefactor the authorities will go easier on him. The problem with Christie's attack, though, is that Wildstein was Christie's guy on the Port Authority.
"Christie praised Wildstein's tenure when he resigned late last year after being sought for testimony by the [New Jersey] Assembly committee investigating the lane closures. Wildstein has long been portrayed as a close friend of Christie's, and included in the email from the governor's office is a story from the Bergen Record headlined, 'Ex Blogger Is Governor Christie's Eyes, Ears Inside The Port Authority.'
"If Wildstein has been a notorious liar since high school social studies class and, more recently, an Internet weirdo using the handle Wally Edge -- and, needless to say, these are merely allegations at this point -- then why was Wildstein welcome in the Christie camp all these years? Is Christie's defense that, having surrounded himself with vengeful incompetents, he had no idea what his subordinates were doing, and therefore he deserves a pass? That's not terribly coherent."
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