ADDED... Rachel nailed this story last night:
"You support me or I'll destroy your city." Well, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie probably didn't put it that way. He's not known for being that nice. It was probably something much rougher that the Governor said to Fort Lee's Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich. It seems if you don't support Christie, he's got a tendency to extract personal revenge.
Here's the background, according to reports covered by HUFFPO:
The George Washington Bridge connecting Manhattan to Fort Lee, N.J., is the busiest in the country. So it was no small matter when in September, two of the three access lanes to the bridge were shut down, creating significant traffic problems on the New Jersey side.
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.
Well, much to nobody's surprise, evidence now shows that this closure wasn't because of this traffic study. How do we know?
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.
I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding, then. If it wasn't a study, maybe it was the judgment of Christie's close and long time friend, David Wildstein who the NJ Governor brought into his administration as a top Port Authority official in 2010. It seems the two go back to high school days together. Nothing like appointing an old reliable friend to head a department, thus allowing you total control over what, when and how they do anything. What's that word I'm looking for? Oh, yeah, 'cronyism.'
You can't fault a guy for trying. Actually, yes you can. What Christie did was wrong. He not only got caught, but he tainted and took down his good high school buddy in the scandal. David Wildstein, resigned on Friday, reigniting questions about whether the traffic snarl created by the closure was all just political payback.
Is the smarmy Mr. Christie vindictive much?
The Wall Street Journal reported that the closure 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.
So if this is the kind of administration New Jersey has for themselves, fine. They voted for this mess and they'll have to live it out. Maybe they can get some of the New Jersey Housewives and their husbands to settle things back there. But the rest of America beware. Chris Christie is a vindictive, bombastic, rude, revengeful, bully. In the world of national politics, he's not the guy we want with his finger on a nuclear bomb, or even a bon-bon. Nothing and nobody's safe around his volatile leadership.