Christie to resign?

January 13, 2014
george washington bridge

He will if it comes to light that he ordered, knew of, or participated in Bridgegate, the closing of the George Washington Bridge’s traffic lanes in order to stick it to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich. How could he have not known?

Given Christie’s professed closeness to his staff and Bridget Anne Kelly — Christie’s former deputy chief of staff for legislative and intergovernmental affairs —  it seems impossible that the two could have worked so closely together, spending oodles of hours in each other’s company, on the very day she sent the email to clog traffic in Fort Lee, and he knew nothing. But who knows what the investigation will uncover? I am willing to wait for the findings.

STOP AHEAD: The lane closures on the bridge delayed travelers for hours.

What I do know is that the further we get from last week’s bizarre press conference, the more suspicions come to my mind. Christie’s epic, nearly two-hour-long news conference, which was half public apology and half therapy session, accomplished many of the basic tenants of crisis communications: respond quickly, apologize completely, and take full responsibility.

Instead, it appears that Christie thinks himself smarter than even Clinton, by every measure the best of the best at wiggling out of jams. Perhaps Christie’s past life as an undefeated prosecutor has convinced him of his abilities to persuade, cajole, or, if need be, shut down anyone squared against him.

If so, it’s a shame and the same arrogance we’ve seen time and again from the Armstrong or Rodriguez school of deception. This is a place where you can make something so, just by saying it often enough and with enough passion and ferocity.

This one won’t be as easy as another courtroom appearance for the aspiring presidential candidate. If Christie had ordered the lane closings and remained silent, then he would have simply been a schoolyard bully — not fit for public office. But now, if he ordered the lane closings and backed it up with two hours of denial and lies, Christie will amount to a psychotic. Best to learn now, before election season, I guess.

And if he’s telling the truth? Then he should have just shut up after making a statement and answering 15 minutes of press questions. That would have seemed much more appropriate for an innocent man.

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