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January 10, 2014 at 6:30 AM
Gov. Chris Christie and the Highway 520 Bridge?
How about that wacky story out of New Jersey? Republican Gov. Chris Christie fired one of his senior staffers who apparently initiated some highway mischief that resulted in four days of traffic jams. All to spite a mayor who did not endorse Christie.
Other Christie appointees have resigned, and the story is still being parsed out. Can political retribution be this blatant and nasty? The aides plotted via emails and text messages with an ease and candor that suggests no one would ever find out or even ask.
Gee, it gets a person thinking. So Christie was in Washington state in 2012, campaigning for the GOP candidate for governor, who went on to lose. By early 2013, the state Department of Transportation was starting to juggle inquiries about troubles and increased expenses for the Highway 520 Bridge project.
Hmmm. Christie passes through Puget Sound for another Republican. His candidate loses. Eventually screwy stuff with the 520 bridge starts to become known. OK, maybe that is a stretch.
But Christie wants to be in the White House. Absent these revelations, one might expect some of his aides would trail along behind him. If he does campaign for president, it will be reminiscent of political cracks running through a pontoon.
The New Jersey story suggests a variation of a classic equation: political arrogance + political carelessness = disaster.
Update 1:32 p.m.
Check out this Associated Press interactive graphic about Christie and the highway lane closures.