Chris Christie: Guilty Till Proven Innocent?
Some politicians are simply surrounded by bad people
OK – He’s the victim. For the time being, allow Governor Christie his truth. Yes, these are BIG benefits-of-the-doubt temporarily granted. This is a governor that can move an election on a whim. He’s not above jamming a finger in someone’s face. Is he a bully? Probably.
On the Bridge scandal he’s saying he screwed up. We all screw up. This one is a big one however. He had people trying to shield him with Nixon-like plausible deniability. When he asked what was going on, they did not have the spines to own up to what they did. But seriously, would you want to face this guy telling him you just made him look this bad?
Grant that Governor Christie went to bat for his people thinking they were in the right. In this atmosphere, to be in government is to have concentric circles plastered on your chest. Media attacks are what you deal with every day. Thinking he had the truth from his folks makes it easy to blow off these attacks.
Give credit to Governor Christie for being a boss people would want to work for. I think Governor Christie would have handled it if the offending people owned up to what they did immediately. He would have fought for them just as hard. It is the mark of a good leader. It allows people working for you to take chances. Look at how hard President Obama fights for his people when they screw-up (read:Sebelius). These hacks did not deserve to have a boss like this.
The problem is – they lied to him. Loyalty means truth. In politics, quality’s more valued than gold. What must make this incredibly painful for him is – they were his people. But you dupe the boss, you rightly deserve the Tyrannosaurus mode of management, you become a snack to an angry guy with short arms and big teeth. Your bones are spit out on the street.
The shame of our entire political system is there are good people who walk in the door and want to contribute. But they run into hacks like the ones formerly employed by Governor Christie. Having dealt with these types of hacks in both the Democratic and Republican flavors, makes a lot of people laugh at the system. People think about running for office, but the party system is littered with human dreck playing political games.
Is this important? Does Chris Christie still have a route to the White House? Scarily, yes. There is no one on the GOP horizon with the stones to speak their mind. Even a small influx of moderate GOP voters can affect a field containing Christie vs three or four uni-speaking Tea Party Candidates (cancelling each other out). If the Democrats put up an imploding candidate – we have President Tony Soprano.
One good thing is the Nixon Cabinet types now live at the bottom of the political Meadowlands before he tries for the big show.
The telling questions are:
Will his attitude change (can he learn from this mistake)?
Who is on his re-tooled team?
After getting burned this badly, will he still have the backs of those who work for him?
How exponentially worse is it to allow him his ‘truth’ now if it disintegrates later?
If he is lying now – do we get to go Tyrannosaurus on him?