“Heartbroken”: Christie fires aide over Bridgegate, maintains he knew nothing

posted at 12:42 pm on January 9, 2014 by Allahpundit

Bridget Kelly, who wrote the now infamous e-mail about it being “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” is out. Bill Stepien, his former campaign manager and nominee to head the state GOP, has also been asked to withdraw due to the “callous indifference” he displayed in the e-mail chain. That was enough for Christie fans on Twitter who are eager to rehabilitate him to draw a flattering contrast with Obama: When a Christie subordinate screws up, she’s out on her ass. Fair enough, although Christie has a lot more to lose right now in not sacrificing someone than our lame-duck president has in refusing to sacrifice Sebelius. And it’s not like O’s never accepted a resignation resulting from scandal. Would candidate Obama have canned a political aide who jeopardized his chances at the presidency like this has for Christie? We don’t have to wonder — he did, before ultimately bringing her back as an ambassador. Fearless prediction: If Christie’s elected, a contrite, reformed Bridget Kelly will also catch on in the administration somewhere. That prospect should keep her quiet even if she was in fact directly ordered by Christie to close the lanes on the bridge. And even if Christie doesn’t re-hire her down the line, someone else might — unless she decides to spill the beans on Christie, in which case her breach of loyalty will make her toxic in her industry.

As for today’s presser, it’s the same sort of political Rorschach as yesterday’s scandal news was. If you like Christie (i.e. you’re center-right to center-left), you’ll likely find this a masterful show of accountability and leadership. My Twitter timeline was packed with Republicans cooing that Christie had defused the bomb, even though he spoke not a word that wasn’t fully expected of him. If you dislike Christie (i.e. you’re a liberal or a tea partier), you’re skeptical that he’s telling the truth and irritated at how easy it is for a pol to get away with something like this. I don’t dislike him the way TPers do but I’m skeptical nonetheless. I find it hard to believe that Bridget Kelly is the mastermind of a revenge operation that extended to Christie appointees in the inner circle and at the Port Authority, especially in the middle of a reelection campaign. Even if Kelly wanted to punish the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing her boss, it’s mind-boggling to think that various members of Team Christie would have played along knowing that exposure could have jeopardized his reelection bid and presidential chances. It’s one thing for the candidate himself to be that reckless; it’s his life, after all. It’s another thing for subordinates to do it to their superior. That being so, how likely is it that Kelly, Stepien, and Wildstein would have instigated this retribution without any of them so much as mentioning it to him? They’ve briefed him on this before, at length, and no one said anything? Ever?

If you missed it last month, read this NYT piece from late December about Christie’s growing reputation for retribution against his political enemies. The best you can say in his defense is that Kelly, Stepien, et al. thought, based on what they knew of their boss, that he’d be fine with screwing Fort Lee with brutal traffic for a few days as punishment. Which makes me think this isn’t the last story we’ll hear about dubious forms of retaliation by Team Christie.

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Oh contraire, you’d hear the same BS from Obama and nothing would be done. Like when Christie says “I AM FULLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS” but he’s the one still with a job. In Japan, “I AM FULLY RESPONSIBLE” means you resign (or worse).


Marcus on January 10, 2014 at 9:17 AM

This is the 1st time we have seen anyone in government lose their jobs in 5 years…

Giving thousands of guns to Mexican Drug cartels resulting in 300+ dead Mexicans and a US Border Patrol Agent PLUS 1 Atty General Censured for 3 Felony counts of Perjury didn’t merit anyone getting fired under Obama…

4 Dead Americans in Becghazi did not merit anyone losing their jobs under obama…

The IRS targeting his political enemies, 2 ex-IRS Chiefs being caught perjuring themselves before Congress, and more constitutional and Law violations did not merit anyone being held accountable under Obama…

The DOJ spying on the media, Holder again getting caught perpetrating perjury before Congress, didn’t merit anyone being held accountable under Obama…

The NSA violating the Costitution by spying on every American didn’t merit anyone being held accountable under Obama,,,

YET in less than 24 hours after the story broke Christie fied the person responsible and held an hour and a forty seven minute press conference to resolve the issue.

What’s the matter, Marcus…you Liberals allergic to transparency, accountability, leadership…?! You must be – we haven’t seen any YET from Obama!

easyt65 on January 10, 2014 at 3:01 PM

“I AM FULLY RESPONSIBLE” means you resign (or worse).

So when is Obama going to resign over Constitutional violations, vilating the laws, several HUNDRED dead Mexican citizens, no less than 5 dead Americans,no less than 4 on-goiong scandals, for helping Al Qaeda & the Muslim Brotherhood take over their own nations,….

Oh, I forgot…Obama ain’t responsible for shi’ite – It is anyone else’s fault BUT his! What a POS!

easyt65 on January 10, 2014 at 3:03 PM

“Will no one rid me of this turbulent Mayor?”

tkmcp on January 10, 2014 at 3:31 PM

This is the 1st time we have seen anyone in government lose their jobs in 5 years…
easyt65 on January 10, 2014 at 3:01 PM

I agree that this is small compared to the IRS scandal. But it’s not nothing.

Odonnel’s upstart campaign and mistakes were relatively nothing. Bridgegate is something.

And it has tarnished the Republican brand. This has hurt republicans much more then Akin or Odonnel EVER could. Aiken’s comments are tiny compared to CCs scandal. CCs scandal is to Benghazi like Akin is to CC’s scandal.

IRS > Bridgegate > ((Akin * Odonnel)*1000).

From now on ALL Republicans will be seen as corrupt thugs. The moderates are responsible for the DNCs new meme. Thanks squishes. I hope you are proud of losing us the 2014 and 2016 elections.

Thank CC and the moderates for ruining our chances at winning the senate in 2014. The moderates need to be purged from the republican party for them to have a chance. They are corrupt, lacking in discipline and without morals.

You would have to look at the arc of Kelly’s future career before making the claim that she has been punished/fired. If she ends up with a nice cushy job in a year then she will not have “lost her job” in the way that you are implying.

BoxHead1 on January 10, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Hey, Virgo, I would recommend Kellygate for the lsm. This way they could get a twofer. Some people might get confused and think it was Megan Kelly and blame FoxNews.

Kissmygrits on January 10, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Like it! Megyn and Bridget are probably conspiring sisters, as far as anyone knows.

And, why are people getting upset over criticism of Christie? What has he done for you? What will he do for conservatives?

virgo on January 11, 2014 at 2:17 AM

easyt65 on January 10, 2014 at 3:03 PM

When someone murders someone, do you go “but that guy murdered like 4 more people, this guy only murdered one guy!

How’s that argument working out for you so far, anyway?

triple on January 11, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Stick a fork in him. A big fork. I keep looking for Axelrod in the background, ala Herman Cain.

On a lighter note: http://www.showbizspy.com/article/264720/hillary-clinton-has-brain-tumor.html

Not sure what the big deal is. Her actions indicate that she’s had it for a long time.

NoPain on January 12, 2014 at 10:13 PM