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Chris Christie seems to be the man the Republicans are looking for. Conservatives, even some Tea Party folks, love  his blunt talk, occasional Obama-bashing, and generally conservative record.

Moderate Republicans and party strategists see him as a winner, particularly after he won 20 percent of black voters and more half of the votes of Latinos and women in his reelection campaign in November. He is emerging as the Republican establishment candidate for 2016, and that person usually wins the party’s nomination.

But now his prospects may have been damaged. Some of Christie’s top aides stand accused of closing lanes on a New Jersey bridge last year in an attempt to punish the town of Fort Lee because its Democratic mayor refused to endorse the governor. The controversy not only calls into question the claims of bi-partisanship of Christie, who suggested in November he could unify not just New Jersey but the entire country, but also could implicate the governor in misleading the public. When previously asked about the lane closings, Christie has suggested his top aides had nothing to do with it.

At best, Christie has put people in his inner circle who felt it was appropriate to punish an entire town in this way for political reasons. Democrats are already suggesting the worst: Christie knew of this scheme himself, a charge the governor has denied.

Either way, this is a very damaging political scandal. To contrast with controversies surrounding Barack Obama, his top White House aides were not directly involved in how the IRS investigated Tea Party groups and sending e-mails to each other bragging about it. Whatever happened involving the attack on the embassy at Benghazi in 2012, the administration did not itself authorize the attack. The struggles of HealthCare.gov did not result from vindictiveness.

(Continue Reading @ The Grio…)

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  • RJ

    Chris Christie has been anointed by the media because they were desperate for a story line in 2012. There was plenty of evidence early in his first term that he had bullying tendancies.

    Now the chickens are coming home to roost. In my opinion, I have never seen Chris Christie as a viable presidential candidate.

    As far as this scandal goes, I do not believe he was not aware and I cannot believe that people are still stupid enough to send emails and text and use language that is plain and clear and leaves no doubt as to what their intentions were. Dumb and Dumber indeed.

  • As far as this scandal goes, I do not believe he was not aware and I cannot believe that people are still stupid enough to send emails and text and use language that is plain and clear and leaves no doubt as to what their intentions were. Dumb and Dumber indeed.

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    I agree don’t understand why you would leave a paper trail like that.

  • In 2012 Republicans were clamoring for Rick Perry to join the primary, and he started out as the clear favorite. However, as soon as people took a closer look at him they saw another Texas governor who wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and who could not be bothered to speak in complete sentences. It was too much, even for Republicans. The 2012 crop of candidates was so dismal that Christie actually had to announce a non-candidacy, which is not something politicians normally do. If he runs in 2016 I hope that kooks like Bachmann, Cain and Santorum join in (Sarah Palin would be too much to ask, but right now she’s possibly the best unintentionally funny politician/personality in the tradition of Dan Quayle). In any case, we need to keep in mind that -politically speaking- there’s an eternity between now and 2016, and races can be decided just a few weeks before the booths open. Remember how people were saying that Newt Gingrich was “surging at the right moment”? And look where he ended up. Which means it’s too early to tell whether this will hurt Christie in the long run.

  • Can’t stand this guy