While there still needs to be a full and complete investigation into exactly how involved the governor’s office was in the closing of the George Washington Bridge, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came out on Thursday to give a master class in how to handle a national political scandal and media frenzy. It was the anti-Obama approach: Christie announced the firing of two of his closest aides and answered questions until the media started to complain about how long he took questions.
Christie took every question hurled his way for ninety minutes and did so without playing down, dismissing, or using the kind of legalistic language President Obama has become famous for during his administration. Obama has also never agreed to answer more than a handful of questions after the news breaking of any one of the numerous scandals that have hit over the last five years.
Also in sharp contrast to Obama, using clear and unequivocal language, Christie said he knew absolutely nothing about his staff’s involvement in lane closures and took full responsibility and acknowledged his own mistakes in not taking the issue seriously when it first came up. Showing more emotion than Obama ever has, Christie repeatedly and personally apologized to the citizens of New Jersey and the media, and said more than once that he was personally “humiliated” over what happened.
Christie also announced that he would go to Fort Lee, the area most affected by the lane closures, to apologize personally to the mayor and citizens.
If everything Christie said today holds up to an aggressive independent investigation (and there needs to be one), the Governor will have shown his ability to handle a national feeding frenzy. Because our corrupt media holds Republicans to a wildly different standard than they do Democrats (especially Obama), this is an ability every Republican must master if they have national aspirations.
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