published Friday, January 17th, 2014

Hart: Chris Christie: Fat and furious

By Ron Hart

The New Jersey governor is in full damage control mode. He conducted a two-hour news conference explaining that he had no idea his staffers orchestrated a traffic slowdown on the country's busiest bridge for political payback.

Thanks to political maneuvering by his predecessor, Democrat Jon Corzine, the governorship in New Jersey has immense power. And Christie is a guy you want to have on your side -- unless you are in a canoe.

Christie came up in politics as a prosecutor; those scare me the most. Think of Eliot Spitzer and Eric Holder. Christie looks like an American League umpire who likes to argue his calls with the coach.

The bridge saga is indicative of how politics in the North work. Dirty tricks are expected. To be surprised at this would be like expecting Christie not to eat a few of your fries if he drove through McDonald's to get lunch.

It's a tale worthy of "Political Machine meets the Sopranos."

Republican politics in the North are an odd cross-current of agendas. New Jersey was overrun with bears, yet the legislators had this long debate about whether to allow the bears to be hunted to control their population. New Jersey would be the only state that would finally allow its citizens to hunt bears but force the bears at gunpoint to dig their own graves.

The Christie excuse is plausible. Politicians surround themselves with sycophants who crave their bosses' attention. We all know politicians have large egos; Washington, D.C., is Hollywood for ugly people -- a dangerous combination.

It strikes me that Christie's deputy chief of staff, a preppy, pearl-wearing woman named Bridget, did not "go rogue" on the bridge trick. I feel Christie knew, or at least he tolerated an ethos where such a thing could go on.

Obama is the same way, sic'ing the IRS on his political opponents. Both Obama and Christie are bullies; if you disagree, they will have you beaten up to prove they are not.

The difference between Obama and Christie is that Obama never apologizes and takes responsibility. As we know, Obama always blames others and fires no one.

The damage caused by slowing down traffic pales against the disingenuous political shenanigans Obama has pulled by lying about Benghazi, IRS targeting opponents, Holder only prosecuting his enemies, and now the big, premeditated whopper: Obamacare.

The media has given more attention to this peashooter traffic glitch than they did to Benghazi, for an obvious reason: Chris Christie is the only Republican polling ahead of Hillary Clinton. The left will stop at nothing to ensure that Bill and Hillary Clinton are the first two-impeachment family.

Does "Bridge-gate" doom Christie? Republican presidential primaries are tough; they decide who will be the party's nominee and who will end up selling reverse mortgages on TV.

I was not a huge fan of Christie before. He went after Rand Paul. He does not have the personal discipline to lose weight. How can he tell the country we need to tighten our belts when he can't tighten his?

And he probably has other skeletons in his closet. They may be just chicken wing bones, but they are there. If squeaky-clean Mitt Romney proved anything, it was that the Democratic machine will savage any opponent. So maybe it is best to just lay everything out there and let it become just water under the bridge -- or a bridge too far. We shall see.

Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator, can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com.

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