Of any one in the potential GOP field of likely presidential candidates, Chris Christie seemingly would have the best odds of appealing to independents and moderates in a general election. Yet the growing scandal over shenanigans to seek revenge on a Democratic mayor - causing huge traffic jams in the process and possibly one death as well - may be what causes the Christie phenomenon to implode. Yes, the ultra far right in the GOP who cannot forgive Christie for working with Obama must be salivating, if not openly celebrating, but those who hoped for a rational GOP standard bearer should be disappointed by what may take Christie down. Here are a compilation of thoughts via Andrew Sullivan:
The emails do not suggest a bad apple each at Port Authority and the Governor’s office up to no good. This is a range of Christie staffers and appointees sitting back observing and chuckling as a big multi-day traffic snarl unfolds.
If Christie didn’t know about this there must have been a concerted effort on the top of his top people to keep him in the dark.
Tomasky sees three possibilities:
1. He’s telling the whole and complete truth in yesterday’s statement, that this was the first he’d known that the lane closings were political;Allahpundit is on the same page:
2. He was in on it from the start and helped mastermind it or at least winkingly approved it;
3. The middle position, which is that he didn’t have prior knowledge but he learned it was political some time ago—not long after it happened, say—and is now lying about having just learned.
If it’s two or three, I’d say you can forget not only his presidential ambitions. He’ll have to resign the governorship. Right? Hard to see any way around it. To have lied to your people for months about something like this, if that’s what he did, is a pretty good definition of being unfit for office.
[A]t 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.