Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

What did Christie know and when did he know it?

By
January 14, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — Why is it there is always a sameness in political scandal? No one ever seems to profit from history. Take the governor of New Jersey, a state where political hardball is notorious.

The recent best hope for the Republican presidential nomination, Gov. Chris Christie, who can’t seem to keep his weight in check despite tying off his stomach or some such business, has proven to millions of potential supporters that his appetite for confrontation and bombast may be equal to his gastronomical urges. The punitive actions of his trusted aides against a minor political figure of the opposite party have landed him in the soup, which despite the distance still remaining before a national election, may eventually drown him.

Did he know ahead of time about the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge that caused a four-day nightmare for the citizens of Fort Lee, N.J., that this was the work of his friends in his behalf? Despite his fervent denials, there always will be doubt and with that a lingering concern about whether he is the kind of guy who might actually support this kind of absurd act of vengeful irresponsibility.

The Watergate inspired question “what did he know and when did he know it?” is not likely to go away, considering at least two investigations and the possibility of both civil and criminal litigation.

Woe is me to the GOP establishment who saw him as a possible 2016 standard bearer of moderation against the radical right. The party’s mainliners can’t seem to catch a break.

This juvenile action against Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor for not endorsing the governor before his landslide election last fall is in the worst traditions of the “don’t get mad, get even” philosophy. History is replete with examples of the disastrous impact of a ricocheting bullet fired under those circumstances. To be trite, what goes around comes around. Shades of Richard Nixon and the dirty tricks gang who once plotted to set up a floating whore house off Collins Avenue in Miami to blackmail delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed on this one but not others.

It would have been much better for Christie way back there in September of last year when the closings took place if he had paid attention to what was quickly becoming the world’s largest traffic jam on the New Jersey side of the world’s most highly trafficked bridge. Someone of his supposed political acumen and perception must have been aware of the coming sound of doom.

When the press inquiries began to emerge about an alleged “study” that no one could or would answer an announcement by him to look into the matter might have backed up his later denials of knowledge or involvement, made them much easier to believe. Instead, he did what any number of predecessors in high office did under the circumstances. He shrugged it all off as an attempt to diminish his standing as the putative front runner in the Republican presidential scramble just now building.

Even if that were true (I’m not saying it wasn’t to some degree because front runners are always forced to play dodge ball) a public statement would have gone a long way to softening the blow to his standing when the emails linking his top aides to the whole affair began to emerge recently

Once again that lesson never seems to be impressed on most politicians. Only Dwight Eisenhower followed the edicts of an Army lifetime where “just don’t get caught” is the first rule. He wasted no time in dismissing his most trusted aide Sherman Adams before Adams’ indiscretions brought down the White House. Had Nixon, Ike’s vice president, followed that example and cleaned out the Committee for the Re-election of the President two days after Watergate, the crisis might have been averted. Harry Truman, on the other hand, refused to do in his cronies when they strayed and it tarnished his image.

There always is an element of arrogance in these matters. The principal in high places somehow seems to believe the myth that his own importance and position will protect him, forcing him later to desperately issue personal apologies for the alleged lies and failings of subordinates.

So Christie sent them to the political guillotine and pleaded for forgiveness. Good luck on that, Tiny.

Dan Thomasson is a longtime Washington journalist and former vice president of Scripps Howard Newspapers. Readers may send him email at: [email protected]

Dan K. Thomasson

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 11 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • DanielJanuary 14, 2014 - 6:39 am

    What did Christie know when and when about traffic? No one cares except the partisan hacks and their petty wack job MSNBC.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • BaseballmomJanuary 14, 2014 - 7:22 am

    Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious... What did Obama know and when did he know it?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • knuckleballerJanuary 14, 2014 - 7:30 am

    Baseballmom rookie. That ship has sailed, try and keep up. Too late you struck out.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DanielJanuary 14, 2014 - 8:43 am

    Lying to the world in the U.N. about American deaths in Benghazi, sicking IRS to do political persecutions, spying on all Americans and the media and holding no one accountable for telephoning Mexican drug lords to come across the border for guns that killed Mexicans and U.S. border gaurd, ignoring all of that and instead work themselves into a hysteria over N.J. traffic is incredibly delusional, I really feel sorry for a chunk of our fellow Americans, they're really mentally ill and MSNBC is feeding that illness.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Danny BuntinJanuary 14, 2014 - 9:19 am

    Spying on Americans is the only fact based statement you made. The rest is just mush, with nothing but your ignorance for backup.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 14, 2014 - 9:28 am

    Daniel, that's right prove your ign*rance by challenging the mentally ill. As if those folks don't have enough trouble. Grow up Daniel. Stop pretending to be an adult. Are you and The Mister dating? Just curious.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MickJanuary 14, 2014 - 11:05 pm

    As the father of an ACTUAL son who is mentally ill, the way you throw around that word makes me SICK. I can't read any of your other points because your classlessness blinds me. Grow up, Daniel, you make me ill.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895January 15, 2014 - 2:14 am

    Daniel will grow up in due time. He's literally a kid, you know.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • What difference does it make!January 14, 2014 - 6:47 pm

    Nobody died in New Jersey like they did in Benghazi..."so what difference does it make"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 14, 2014 - 7:02 pm

    Context...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895January 15, 2014 - 2:23 am

    "Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious"...panic and distract with irrelevancies. Won't work, shouldn't work. As Christie fires people, the story will continue to develop. They will talk. The only question then will be their veracity.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 40 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

.

US / World

 
 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

 
Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 4 Comments

 
Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7