Who could have ever predicted that the downfall of N.J. Gov. Chris Christie might be “traffic problems in Fort Lee”?
If you know anything about Fort Lee, N.J. and the access roads leading to the George Washington Bridge, you appreciate that making it across without traffic on any given day is a crapshoot. That said, as we learned yesterday Christie staffers felt compelled to create traffic problems there — for four days — as payback to the Fort Lee mayor who failed to support the governor during the recent election there.
If you missed it, here’s the recap from the N.Y Times:
Emails and texts revealed that a top aide had ordered the closings to punish the town’s mayor after he did not endorse the governor for re-election.
“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, emailed David Wildstein, a high school friend of the governor who worked at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the bridge.
Later text messages mocked concerns that school buses filled with students were stuck in gridlock: “They are the children of Buono voters,” Mr. Wildstein wrote, referring to Mr. Christie’s opponent Barbara Buono.
The emails are striking in their political maneuvering, showing Christie aides gleeful about some of the chaos that resulted. Emergency vehicles were delayed in responding to three people with heart problems and a missing toddler, and commuters were left fuming. One of the governor’s associates refers to the mayor of Fort Lee as “this little Serbian,” and Ms. Kelly exchanges messages about the plan while she is in line to pay her respects at a wake.
The political fallout may be mounting. Heads are rolling, Christie’s nascent bid for President in 2016 is being questioned (that’s the national media chatter), the nomination of his chief of staff to be state Attorney General may be in jeopardy, criminal charges may be looming — it goes on and on. All because of . . . what ?