This is the second in a series of traffic reports, a local issue that seems to be of wide national interest.
Traffic Report 2: A Bridge So Far
108 minutes –and not a single word about the results of the traffic study. He should have devoted the whole press conference to reporting it.
Instead, the governor of the great state of New Jersey chose the Sgt. Schultz defense. As Hauptfeldwebel (Senior Master Sergeant) Hans George Schultz would say, as much as 47 times during a week of “Hogan’s Heroes” reruns, “I know nozzin’ –NOZZIN.”
Our governor was on the hot seat over his claim of not knowing how it was possible three lanes of traffic were being diverted into one tollbooth, creating the world’s largest parking lot in the borough of Fort Lee. Apparently, Christie’s Heroes were conducting a rogue operation those four days in September.
He apologized 20 times during the marathon press grilling in Trenton last Thursday, when 19 would have done it.
I had not been so choked up by the performance of a politician with his feet being held to the fire since the Republican legend, Richard Nixon, was force to deliver his immortal “Checkers” speech of 1956.
And then our distinguished governor began playing the blame game. “ Theyaculpa,” he admitted, as the heads began to roll in the bowling alley that is now the governor’s high command.
As the hours rolled by, and the press corps seemed to run out of ways to ask the same question — what didn’t he know, and how didn’t he know it? — the transcendental viewing experience began to remind me of the iconic press conferences during Watergate with President Nixon explaining to the world how those public servants he had trusted had betrayed him. Christie seemed so angry with what been done to him, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he fired Haldeman and Ehrlichman again.
What might be coming next? The missing 18½ minutes of redacted emails? And, anyway, it’s all the media’s fault. The TV-induced déjà ended for me with the Governor raising two hands with the “V” for victory, and the proclamation “I’m no crook.”
For some, the governor’s performance at the press conference did more than strain credulity; it gave it a hernia.
At dinner last night in my house in New Jersey, where diners were debating whether to award the governor an Emmy for best actor in a docudrama or comedy, an admittedly unscientific poll found that 92.6% of the respondents think he is lying. Only Milo Finn Kitman, age 5½ was willing to give his honor the benefit of the doubt.
For all the doubting Thomases out there in the TV audience, I think it would have helped the Governor’s reputation for being an honest, forthright, straight-shooting American politician by taking a polygraph test to prove that he is no liar.
Where do I stand on the issues?
As a loyal Christie partisan, I’m sure the Governor, if he knew, wouldn’t have noticed anything wrong about his team doing anything wrong or vindictive against a rotten borough like Fort Lee that didn’t vote Republican. This is politics, not scrabble.
If he or his team didn’t do something to indicate displeasure, why not?
The most disturbing thing about the governor being in denial, as the social scientists say, if that is indeed the case, in his litany of meanotguilty assertions was his assertion: “I am what I am. And I’m not a bully.”
I hope this Descartes of New Jersey was reading that line from a script or had forgotten to take his performance enhancing steroids that morning. Not a bully? The last thing we need is another pussyfooting chief executive like that financial wizard Corzine and that ahead of his time McGreevey who came out of the closet in 2004.
There is an old folk saying in New Jersey, “don’t get mad, get even. What is unique about Chris is that he gets mad and gets even.
Every politician has an enemies list. And I ’m just glad I’m not on it for the way I have gone out on the limb in these traffic reports to defend his reputation, which is being tarnished by the media’s insistence there is more to this story that will be coming down the turnpike.
What should the governor do now, as the threat of further damning allegations loom over Trenton?
There are those who say he should resign to save the state’s reputation for clean politics.
Others say he should find God. Cleanse himself by becoming a born-again honest New Jersey politician.
I say he should check into a fat farm to get in better shape for the coming 2016 campaign. Keep in mind there hasn’t been a fat man in the White House since William Howard Taft.
Jan. 13, 2014