Via the Daily Caller, are we at this point so soon? The story about his deputy’s e-mails broke this morning; he put out the requisite shock-and-disappointment statement a few hours ago; and now here’s a righty pundit already dropping the R-bomb on him, albeit conditionally. Half the Republicans I follow on Twitter are rolling their eyes that anyone in the media could be so exercised about petty hardball played by local politicians, especially when Bob Gates is busy accusing the president of the United States of sending men to die in a war he never believed in. Christie’s not in any imminent danger.
But look — at this point, given his emphatic denials that he had anything to do with the lane closings, what’s the alternative to resigning if a smoking gun emerges proving that he did? He’s not going to stand at the podium, cop to having lied baldfaced to the world about his role in punishing the public in order to retaliate against a political enemy, and then say, “Oh well, see you tomorrow.” His whole shtick is that he’s a straight talker who tells the truths that more polished politicians are too afraid to tell. He can’t admit to having lied to protect himself and then go back to business as usual. So what’s the alternative to resignation if he gets caught red-handed? Which, I guess, is another way of saying that the odds of him getting caught red-handed are verrry low or else his denials wouldn’t be so emphatic. If he was involved, the way this was done, I assume, is Christie telling a close aide to make it happen and then the aide telling Kelly to make it happen. That gives him plausible deniability. No paper trail, no muss, no fuss. At worst, if Kelly turns on him and claims that she’s confident the order came from Christie himself, he’ll dismiss it as fingerpointing by a bad employee who’s eager to rehabilitate her rep by telling the media what it wants to hear. He wouldn’t go all-in on denials if he had reason to believe he was exposed.
As for the rest of the clip, where Cupp teases out a scenario in which Christie resigns, becomes a martyr to his supporters for doing so(?), and then rebounds by running for president anyway, I don’t know what to tell you except that Tapper’s green room must include a mini-bar. Any pol who would abuse his power for such petty, egotistical reasons, lie about it repeatedly, and then actually step down in disgrace isn’t going to be considered for the most powerful job in the world. Especially when a big chunk of his own party’s base already disdains him.