“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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Tears

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 12:44 PM

He’s still talking.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Dude’s still answering whatever questions the media has. Going on an hour and 45 minutes now.

Can anyone imagine Obama ever A) taking responsibility this way, and B) answering every single question lobbed at him for this long after screwing up?

Red Cloud on January 9, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Who told the traffic people to close the lanes…..

Christie is playing the victim card….

Sorry, fat man – that won’t fly.

redguy on January 9, 2014 at 12:45 PM

So he didnt just wear some hipsta glasses and announce “What difference does it make?”…oh wait, he is GOPer….

hillsoftx on January 9, 2014 at 12:46 PM

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?

Not likely at all. This has Chritie’s fingerprints all over it. He thinks he’s Tony Soprano and that’s how he runs his state. This reminds me of the way he made Romney kiss his ring before “allowing” him to fundraise in NJ.

Kataklysmic on January 9, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Red Cloud on January 9, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Even the media are bored now.

This will not be good for the Ds. They came too early.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 12:49 PM

The list of things Christie claims not to have known about is a lot shorter than Obama’s.

agmartin on January 9, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Christie’s fired staffers will sing like canaries unless they are given a nice job in state government to keep their mouth shut.

Wigglesworth on January 9, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Kinda tired of being attacked by big government stooges.

forest on January 9, 2014 at 12:50 PM

RINO rhino christie will now join his pal OBOZO for a duet of Sam Cooke’s “Don’t Know Much About ****”

*** = fill in the blank with ANY current scandal/failure.

TeaPartyNation on January 9, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Whatever.

You sound like your BFF, Barry.

stenwin77 on January 9, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Is there anything sadder than the tears of a clown?

Pork-Chop on January 9, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Screwing your political opponents, especially in your own party, is the main raison d’être in the North East. There is not a whit of difference between the parties politically so it’s not like they are running to change the system or something. They can’t get any enjoyment from debating policy as they already agree. What else is left but petty vengeance?

Rocks on January 9, 2014 at 12:52 PM

“AT THIS POINT, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?”

stenwin77 on January 9, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Typical corrupt blue stater.

tetriskid on January 9, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Perhaps Donut can get advice on rehabilitating his reputation from Obama…or Rubio…or either Clinton…

Oh wait…

workingclass artist on January 9, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Red Cloud on January 9, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Definitely not.
Whether the aide was the real culprit or just a scapegoat, at least Christie fired someone for what was done.

However, I am getting tired of politicians using the Sgt Schultz excuse so much.
We have far too many politicians running this country who claim to not know what the people under them are doing.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Like AP, I’m skeptical, too.

In the end, this is a big nothingburger to me.

I wasn’t voting for Christie before and I’m certainly not voting for him now.

Bitter Clinger on January 9, 2014 at 12:54 PM

By the way, why hasn’t anybody trotted about Al D’Amato to talk about this? Isn’t he a member of the NJ Scumbag Hall of Fame?

Rocks on January 9, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Tuesday’s State of the State s/b more fun than it would have been.

Almost two hours of ‘entertainment’.

The press were seen yawning…

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Over!

Two hours.

wyntre9 on January 9, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Right out of the Democrat, RINO playbook, but I’m being redundant again.

So what if he’s continually trying to show tuff-guy stripes? He’s from Jersey; it’s in his blood. It doesn’t make him a conservative.

SteveInRTP on January 9, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Some enterprising reporter should ask him what Barack Obama’s saliva tastes like.

Oh, and a follow up….was he disappointed to learn that Barry didn’t intend to divorce Michelle after all.

ElectricPhase on January 9, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Still not ever voting for the fat man. And that’s as much of crap as I’ll ever give about Jersey.

M240H on January 9, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Is there anything sadder than the tears of a clown?

Pork-Chop on January 9, 2014 at 12:52 PM

It’s only there trying to fool the public

kcewa on January 9, 2014 at 12:59 PM

He’s been going on for more than 2 hours now….he can go for ever for all I care…..I still think he’s lying through his teeth.

tencole on January 9, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Like AP, I’m skeptical, too.

In the end, this is a big nothingburger to me.

I wasn’t voting for Christie before and I’m certainly not voting for him now.

Bitter Clinger on January 9, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Anyone skeptical about this has never met a politician from the North East. There is only 2 ways an underling pulls something like this. One, they were told to by the boss or Two, the boss has set so many precedents for doing stuff like this that underlings just figure it’s standard policy and need no approval. I’m willing to believe to believe it was 2 but it makes it no better because they were following Christie’s lead.

Rocks on January 9, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Not likely at all. This has Chritie’s fingerprints all over it. He thinks he’s Tony Soprano and that’s how he runs his state. This reminds me of the way he made Romney kiss his ring before “allowing” him to fundraise in NJ.

Kataklysmic on January 9, 2014 at 12:49 PM

If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were talking about a Chicago politician. ;)

tencole on January 9, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Has allahpundit gone from candy ass to hard ass?

Bravo sir.

gwelf on January 9, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Is there anything sadder than the tears of a clown?

Pork-Chop on January 9, 2014 at 12:52 PM

It’s only there trying to fool the public

kcewa on January 9, 2014 at 12:59 PM

LOL. :)

tencole on January 9, 2014 at 1:03 PM

I just love “I am responsible for what happened” and then listing everyone else who is going going gone.

Marcus on January 9, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Even the media are bored now.

This will not be good for the Ds. They came too early.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 12:49 PM

THIS POST DESERVES HALL OF FAME STATUS!!

Made my day Schad.

ToddPA on January 9, 2014 at 1:03 PM

…collateral damage!…that’s all the aide was…will somehow end up with a nice job..down the road…for sure!

KOOLAID2 on January 9, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Christie was completely convincing and unflappable during his two hour press conference. I don’t believe Christie is stupid enough to have known about this juvenile nonsense and not have nixed it. Christie’s critics on this site are attacking him because he’s not conservative enough for them. It’s no surprise they are lacking the integrity to look at this objectively.

Basilsbest on January 9, 2014 at 1:04 PM

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

Chrispie Chreme is exaggerating, again. He knows less than nothing.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Christie also “knows nothing” of climate change, here’s a 2 minute video of him, from just two years ago, obsessing in agreement with the leftists, even talking of the continuing rise in temperatures when at that point we’d had 13 years on no warming, really it’s pitiful and disgusting for a “Republican,” see it yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPxDnb2-aVI&info=ChristeOnClimateChange

anotherJoe on January 9, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Bottom line – Christie ordered the Code Red.

TxAnn56 on January 9, 2014 at 1:06 PM

108 minutes, longer than McCain’s Keating 5 and Ferraros fiasco.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Christie was completely convincing and unflappable during his two hour press conference. I don’t believe Christie is stupid enough to have known about this juvenile nonsense and not have nixed it.

Basilsbest on January 9, 2014 at 1:04 PM

LOL. The guy who was french-kissing Barky on the beach and sabotaging Mittens in the last week of the election … Okey doke. If you really believe that he wouldn’t stoop (or raise himself, in Chrispie Chreme’s case) to harassing people with traffic jams … just because he can.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Can anyone imagine Obama ever A) taking responsibility this way, and B) answering every single question lobbed at him for this long after screwing up?

Red Cloud on January 9, 2014 at 12:45 PM

No, but so what? Firing aides and claiming ignorance isn’t taking responsibility, it’s passing it on.

PersonFromPorlock on January 9, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Christie campaign talking point in 2016:

“I took responsibility for the failures that happened. She did not.”

VinceOfDoom on January 9, 2014 at 1:07 PM

This is a damn good write-up, AP.

EarthToZoey on January 9, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Believe no one . . . they’re all from the same pod.

rplat on January 9, 2014 at 1:09 PM

I’m waiting for the Sgt. Schultz video.

Fenris on January 9, 2014 at 1:09 PM

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.

It’s really nothing new to see someone in a position of certain power, like Kelly, get a little “carried away” if you will…it happens in business all the time. She screwed up huge. I’m not giving Christie a total pass here…a good leader has a better grip on his underlings. He wasn’t aware, of that I’m sure, of the whole “Bridge-gate” thing. But he should have had better oversight.

Live and learn. And for gawds sake, traffic back-ups on the GWB are a daily occurrence. That’s my route in and out of the city.

JetBoy on January 9, 2014 at 1:11 PM

unless she decides to spill the beans on Christie, in which case her breach of loyalty will make her toxic in her industry a star in the D latrine.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Christie campaign talking point in 2016:

“I took responsibility for the failures that happened. She did not.”

VinceOfDoom on January 9, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Reply: Hillary quit, Christie didn’t. How’d he take responsibility?

ddrintn on January 9, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Wow… look at the media go…

“Christie knows everything and needs to take responsibility…”

But it’s okay that Obama knows NOTHING about

Benghazi
IRS Scandal
Anything else… ever

Headline should be: Media suddenly cares about scandals…

Washington Fancy on January 9, 2014 at 1:12 PM

hold the phone, HOLD THE PHONE!!

This just in:

Dennis Rodman was Drinking before the CNN interview!!

Damn! And here I though he was just another pretty face….

ToddPA on January 9, 2014 at 1:12 PM

I only saw the beginning of the press conference but it seems like Christie is handling the mess responsibly and I didn’t see anything to issue with.
Christie as a presidential candidate will be another matter.

lynncgb on January 9, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Basilsbest on January 9, 2014 at 1:04 PM

It’s obvious that either Christie approved it, or his “staffers” know that this is how Christie runs the place and would approve….neither is okay. The “staffers” are scapegoats….keep your eyes/ears open cuz it will be REAL interesting to see were they end up

Again, I think ALL Christie’s emails should be posted for all to read. That would be interesting reading and probably will NEVER happen.

Loving how Rush is giving Christie no love. :))

tencole on January 9, 2014 at 1:13 PM

It’s really nothing new to see someone in a position of certain power, like Kelly, get a little “carried away” if you will…it happens in business all the time. She screwed up huge.

JetBoy on January 9, 2014 at 1:11 PM

As did the IRS, right?

ddrintn on January 9, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Is there anything sadder than the tears of a clown?

Pork-Chop on January 9, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Yes! The “Tears Of A Clone“!……

williamg on January 9, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Employing dirty tricks, retribution against political enemies, and corruption is pretty SOP in NJ politics. Most of the time, and with little press notice other than the occasional corruption perp walks, it’s the Democrats in their traditional strongholds (Bergen, Essex, Camden counties – cities like Newark, Jersey City, and Camden) who have done these things.

Clearly, when politics is a bit of a blood sport in the state, the GOP isn’t above embarking down these paths as well as ‘Bridge-gate’ demonstrates.

Like Christie or not (I’m not a fan, but will admit he’s been a much better Gov for NJ than many the state has had (Florio, Codey, McGreevy, Corzine)) he has confronted this. He’s not parsing or dancing around this – he’s saying clearly that he had no knowledge of this and he’s taken decisive action against those who were part of it regardless of it being because of a (legitimate?) traffic study or not. He’s not given himself any wiggle room on this.

It’s a style and approach that is 180 degrees opposite of what NJ got from Florio, McGreevy, and Corzine or what Americans are getting from BHO (or HRC) and the abuses of power done in the Obama Administration.

It’s not unknown for powerful staffers to make decisions and take actions that are both above their pay grade and when objectively viewed are incredibly bad / petty decisions without the knowledge of their bosses. When someone subscribes to ‘the ends justifies the means’, the checks and balances don’t apply. I’ve seen it in politics and business – and I’ve seen the leadership respond as BHO has and as Christie has. To me, responding as Christie did, with little parsing and decisive action, it is the right step.

Athos on January 9, 2014 at 1:14 PM

And for gawds sake, traffic back-ups on the GWB are a daily occurrence.

JetBoy on January 9, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Ain’t that the truth.

lynncgb on January 9, 2014 at 1:15 PM

IMO – Christie is the winner from today’s presser.

- Took all the questions
- Answered direct – he did not evade anything
- Fired people

Now if evidence surfaces that he knew about this – or was involved – he is toast. If evidence is absent – he comes across as a leader who took responsibility.

Again – IMO

jake-the-goose on January 9, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Now if evidence surfaces that he knew about this – or was involved – he is toast.

jake-the-goose on January 9, 2014 at 1:15 PM

LOL, suuuuuure.

ddrintn on January 9, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Heh, Wildstein will plead the 5th this afternoon.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Christie campaign talking point in 2016:

“I took responsibility for the failures that happened found credible scapegoats. She did not.”

VinceOfDoom on January 9, 2014 at 1:07 PM

There…that’s better.

tencole on January 9, 2014 at 1:17 PM

There…that’s better.

tencole on January 9, 2014 at 1:17 PM

“But…that shows how savvy Christie is and how he can think quick!!!!” –GOP flack putting away the Romney jersey for the CC one

ddrintn on January 9, 2014 at 1:18 PM

He shoulda claimed he bumped his noggin and took a couple weeks off.

Akzed on January 9, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Taking the 5th on all questions :)

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Yeah, let me tell ya. Brutal traffic at the George Washington Bridge is definitely worse than refusing security for a consulate, using the IRS for political purposes, double-crossing our allies, etc. Great that the MSM is all over this one.

Priscilla on January 9, 2014 at 1:19 PM

He shoulda claimed he bumped his noggin and took a couple weeks off.

Akzed on January 9, 2014 at 1:18 PM

LOL. True.

Priscilla on January 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Is there anything sadder than the tears of a clown?

Pork-Chop on January 9, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Not when there’s no one around.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM

What is that embedded item, btw? I’m using Fx 26 and it’s showing as a big blank black box.

ddrintn on January 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM

^ Never mind, there they are.

ddrintn on January 9, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Just like Pagliacci did,
Christie kept his feelings hid.

kingsjester on January 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Onion is unpeeling…today was the first layer, only.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Chris Christie is much too smart and way too big a man (sic) to have engaged in this kind of juvenile nonsense. The same cannot be said for thse who think this is an opportunity to damage or eliminate him as the GOP frontrunner.

Basilsbest on January 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM

This will not help the Rs.

This will NOT help the Ds.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Basilsbest on January 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM

He’s toast.

kingsjester on January 9, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Taking drinking a 5th on all questions :)

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Don’t think the Rodman strategy will fly…

ToddPA on January 9, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Priscilla on January 9, 2014 at 1:19 PM

You’re right…but you’re also comparing apples and oranges.
Obama is POTUS….Christie is Governor of Jersey.
They both run/control their “territory”….it’s just that “territories” are different sizes.
The most important thing is, that they both run their “territories” the same way….the Chicago way, and that should be a big red flag for you.

tencole on January 9, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Chris Christie is much too smart and way too big a man (sic) to have engaged in this kind of juvenile nonsense. The same cannot be said for thse who think this is an opportunity to damage or eliminate him as the GOP frontrunner.

Basilsbest on January 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Shocka!!!!! Mittbot becomes Christie fan. Weren’t you blasting Christie right after the Obama visit on the eve of the election?

Hey, I wouldn’t dream of “eliminating” CC as the “frontrunner”. The quicker the GOP goes up in flames, the better. I think the predictability is hilarious.

ddrintn on January 9, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Red Cloud on January 9, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Even the media are bored now.

This will not be good for the Ds. They came too early.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 12:49 PM

And he’s freaking. There was to be no blood in the water until after the great white’s pulled him thru the primary race. He knew that. Sure they’re circling but even they know they’re early.
He’s seeing the crowm wafting with wings, sailing over the back of the crowd and he’s got to put out this fire. So he’s just gonna stomp out every flaming question as it pops up…
Uh! Pop corn! Is it too late?

onomo on January 9, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Don’t think the Rodman strategy will fly…

ToddPA on January 9, 2014 at 1:25 PM

How about a sugar high?

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Sorry Fatty Arbuckle—the Dems are going to smack you right in the teeth. So much for your “reach across the aisle” RINO-ism.

wraithby on January 9, 2014 at 1:28 PM

I think Christie would do well……in Chicago.

KMC1 on January 9, 2014 at 1:29 PM

The swearing in and the State of State will be epic.

Soap opera in NJ

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Sorry Fatty Arbuckle—

wraithby on January 9, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Your intellect is showing!

jake-the-goose on January 9, 2014 at 1:32 PM

I was planning to vote third party if Christie were the GOP nominee in 2016 even before this fake scandal broke out.

DRayRaven on January 9, 2014 at 1:34 PM

How about a sugar high?

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Good point….seeing as we’re talking about Christie.

ToddPA on January 9, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Like AP, I’m skeptical, too.

In the end, this is a big nothingburger to me.

I wasn’t voting for Christie before and I’m certainly not voting for him now.

Bitter Clinger on January 9, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Exactly. I didn’t like him before because he’s been an arrogant bully on many occasions and I don’t like him now, whether he had anything to do with this or not.

scalleywag on January 9, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Your intellect is showing! jake-the-goose on January 9, 2014 at 1:32 PM

let me check…

no, it’s still engaged in solving the Goldbach conjecture…

wraithby on January 9, 2014 at 1:41 PM

no, it’s still engaged in solving the Goldbach conjecture…

wraithby on January 9, 2014 at 1:41 PM

My point was – you’re way too intelligent to go with fat jokes/smears.

jake-the-goose on January 9, 2014 at 1:43 PM

It’s no surprise they are lacking the integrity to look at this objectively.

Basilsbest on January 9, 2014 at 1:04 PM

We’re lacking integrity? Well, that’s rich.

Dude, every time Obama does this exact thing we hammer on him. But now that your guy gets caught being a d*bag we’re supposed to give him the benefit of the doubt?

After the hug and the speech all about himself at the Republican Convention, not to mention not campaigning in VA, we already knew Chris Christy was vindictive. This is just another example of it.

Maybe we don’t want to go from the Chicago way to the Joisey way. Maybe we want some freakin’ standards for our nominee.

One thing is for sure, if there are more examples of this crap the media will find it. He needs an actual D behind his name to ensure their silence. Although, perhaps they’ll just collect all the examples until right before the election.

magicbeans on January 9, 2014 at 1:45 PM

I think Christie would do well……in Chicago.

KMC1 on January 9, 2014 at 1:29 PM

He certainly would. He’s learned from the best of the Chicago thugs.

tencole on January 9, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Chris Christie is much too smart and way too big a man (sic) to have engaged in this kind of juvenile nonsense. The same cannot be said for thse who think this is an opportunity to damage or eliminate him as the GOP frontrunner.

Basilsbest on January 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM

“I heart anyone willing to put an R after their name.”
/Basilsbest

Bitter Clinger on January 9, 2014 at 1:48 PM

“I heart anyone willing to put an R after their name.”
/Basilsbest

Bitter Clinger on January 9, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Well, except for actual conservatives.

ddrintn on January 9, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Well, except for actual conservatives.

ddrintn on January 9, 2014 at 1:50 PM

I was just thinking that I needed to add an addedum. I was going to add “especially those who are or have been blue-state governors.”

But you’re even more on point.

Bitter Clinger on January 9, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Canio Pagliacci

Living up to his nickname.

I was deeply hoping he would end the conference with a paraphrase of “This Comedy Is Over”, in some off-hand, defensive way.

I would have stood and applaud as the curtain fell.

budfox on January 9, 2014 at 1:56 PM

I can’t believe they were stupid enough to leave an e-mail trail telling them to make the sequester cuts as painful as possible…

DanMan on January 9, 2014 at 1:58 PM

This whole post by AP assumes that the land closures were always intended as political retribution and that there was no legitimate traffic study. I think that assumes too much. He fired people for not being honest with him about their involvement (or their callous attitude), not for conducting the traffic study itself. It is still very possible (I say probable) that there was a legitimate traffic study that was going on, and the aides are only guilty of having glee over the inconvenience that it would necessarily inflict on a political opponent. Both showed poor judgment and paid for it with their jobs. However, I think we need more evidence before we declare the traffic study was bogus and retribution was the driving intent.

Are we not even interested in what else was in the emails and in what context they were written, or are we just going to take the liberal media’s word for it that they edited the snip its together honestly? without bias and without trying to blow this nothingburger into a scandal?

tommylotto on January 9, 2014 at 2:00 PM

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?

Yeah, it’s hard to buy the idea that the fat man knew nothing about this until well after-the-fact. You would think that being challenged on the gridlock would have been enough to spark some curiousity about what exactly was closing off lanes.

But, of course, this isn’t fat man’s big problem. It is that romp on the beach and endorsement of Obama days before the 2012 elections.

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2014 at 2:01 PM

The Whale was dead to me after the BJ On The Beach before election day. This is just the music over The End credits.

SurferDoc on January 9, 2014 at 2:01 PM

I’m not a Chisty fan, but when will the FBI investigation into Benghazi be finished..?

And that phony IRS scandal investigation..?

And the National Park Service kidnappings..?

And the…..

d1carter on January 9, 2014 at 2:03 PM

I think this episode highlights the bigger problem: Government employees who abuse power and create hardship on the rest of us. Doesn’t matter if the guy/gal at the top knows or doesn’t. Government is too big, and rarely does someone’s head roll for getting caught in a misdeed without dozens of cronies running in for some major CYA.

Whittle the government employee rank-and-file about 60%, and they’ll be too busy doing the work meant for them to do – not dreaming up ways to inflict pain on their political enemies or the rest of us.

Turtle317 on January 9, 2014 at 2:04 PM

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