The Christie Scandal Isn’t Over

Especially for comedians – brutal:

After reading Lizza’s detailed look at Bridgegate, Cassidy suspects Christie is cooked:

According to some reports, the criminal investigation could take up to eighteen months. With all this hanging over the Governor, it seems almost inconceivable that he would plunge into a Presidential campaign. If he did, he would be inviting attacks not just from Democrats but from some Republicans as well, and particularly from Thomas Kean, Sr., the former Republican Governor of the state, who for many years served as Christie’s mentor and close adviser.

Last year, for reasons that remain murky, Christie turned against Kean’s son, Thomas Kean, Jr., who was running for reëlection as the minority leader in the New Jersey state senate. Despite the Governor’s opposition, Kean, Jr., won the vote, but he and his father did not forgive and forget. In January, after Christie, in a two-hour press conference, denied knowing anything about the lane closures, the senior Kean went on MSNBC and said that, while he believed Christie, “I think there are still unanswered questions” about why his appointees did what they did. In an interview with Ryan, Kean went further, asking whether Christie had “created an atmosphere in which some of those people thought they were doing his will because they were getting back at people.” He added, “If you cross Christie, he’ll come back at you, even years later. So his people might have picked up that kind of thing.”

Jeff Smith focuses on Christie’s legal problems:

Political pundits don’t tend to think like lawyers; they’re focused on the horse race. It’s no wonder the narrative thus far has downplayed legal liability.

I noted this divide in January, when I predicted that Christie’s real problem was legal, not political, and that he would ultimately be brought down not by Bridgegate itself but by an unrelated investigation stemming from it in the same way that Monica Lewinsky had nothing to do with an ill-fated Arkansas land deal called Whitewater and Al Capone went down for tax evasion. Federal prosecutorial tentacles would make an octopus envious. And so despite two marathon press conferences, a 360-page report produced after an internal investigation by Christie’s lawyer Randy Mastro and beheadings for much of his inner circle, Christie is actually in worse shape than he was in when the scandal first broke.

In case you have trouble hearing the above video, here are the money quotes:

Joy Behar, the former co-host of “The View,” was even more pointed. “When I first heard that he was accused of blocking off three lanes on the bridge, I said, ‘What the hell is he doing, standing in the middle of the bridge?” After another barb, Christie interrupted her. “This is a Byrne roast,” he said. He stood up and tried to grab her notes. The audience laughed awkwardly. “Stop bullying me,” Behar said as he sat down. Christie said something out of earshot and Behar responded, “Why don’t you get up here at the microphone instead of being such a coward?” Christie stood up again and moved in front of the lectern as Behar retreated.  “At least I don’t get paid for this,” he said.

Christie sat down and Behar continued, though she was noticeably rattled. “I really don’t know about the Presidency,” she said. “Let me put it to you this way, in a way that you’d appreciate: You’re toast.”