Christie appears to have taken none of these elementary steps. Contrary to his carefully cultivated reputation as a hard-charging, no-nonsense prosecutor — the scourge of political corruption — the governor seems downright passive when it comes to his own circle. He takes no investigative initiative. He reacts as embarrassing developments occur and tweaks his story accordingly. He is caught flatfooted and unprepared when damning disclosures, like this week’s e-mails involving his close aides, inevitably emerge.
When he finally takes action, moreover, it turns out to be the only conceivable action any ambitious politician would take under the circumstances. His fans are applauding his decisiveness, but what ambitious politician who had any hope of running for president would not have fired Bridget Kelly once those e-mails hit the news? The Obama comparison doesn’t cut it: Obama is already president and, with the press carrying his water, he doesn’t have to fire anyone — not Sebelius, not Holder, not Rice, no one. Christie doesn’t have that luxury.
Ms. Kelly was ousted because, according to Christie, she lied to him — meaning, we must assume, she did not confess her role in orchestrating the traffic snarls when he gave his ultimatum. Which brings us back to where we started — to Bret Schundler.