Monday, January 13, 2014

Leadership From The I Know Nothing Governor

Haley Barbour is not living on another planet.  He's a very slick politician, possibly ill-informed.  The online edition of New Jersey's most widely circulated newspaper, The Star-Ledger of Newark, reported the former Mississippi governor

defended Gov. Chris Christie in a lengthy interview for “taking the bull by the horns” after a week of explosive revelations that top Christie aides knew about plans to cause a massive traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge last year.

Barbour also went on the attack, scolding Christie’s Democratic critics and the “liberal media elite” for sensationalizing the traffic jam to imperil the New Jersey governor’s political future...

“First of all, he stepped up to the plate and took responsibility,” Barbour told The Star-Ledger on Friday night. “The American people are dying for that after five years of President Obama always saying it's someone else's fault.

“He stepped up to the plate and said what a great Democratic president once said: ‘The buck stops here. I take responsibility’ He didn't say, like Secretary Clinton, ‘what difference does it make?’”

Announcing that one is taking responsibility is not taking responsibility, unless Barbour wants to concede full responsibility for the deadly attack on the compound in Benghazi was assumed by Secretary Clinton, who testified before Congress "As I have said many times, I take responsibility, and nobody is more committed to getting this right."  Chris Christie said he took responsibility- and then assigned blame to the individuals he fired while claiming he knew nothing.

But the closure by the Republican regime in Trenton of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge for purely partisan political purposes did give the GOP yet another opportunity to blame the "liberal media," as it does upon any factual report of Republican wrongdoing.  “The liberal media elite," Barber imagined, "continues to treat this like the Lincoln assassination.”

The meanies in the liberal media have just been so unkind to Chris Christie.  That's why Barbara Walters named him one of the ten most fascinating people of the year.  In an adoring profile (video, below) from shortly before his re-election, Walters termed him "a bear of a man," who is "frank" and "fearless."  He was focused on his re-election, she stated, "and on New Jersey's recovery."

Not focused sufficiently, it appears.  He awarded a $150 million no-bid contract to a Florida-based company to assist in recovery from Hurricane Sandy, even though three other firms would have done the cleanup more cheaply.  A firm willing to produce an ad campaign touting the Jersey shore was bypassed in favor of an outfit charging $2 million more- but which included the governor's family in the "Stronger than the Storm" campaign commercial masquerading as a tourism spot. The bid evaluation process was led by a woman who resigned as an aide to the governor amid controversy over a $46,000 loan she received from Christie when he was U.S. Attorney.

And then there is the little matter of the $1.8 billion the Christie administration received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 60% of which the governor promised to apply to low and moderate income housing.  Nearly two-thirds of that money has gone missing, according to Chris Hayes.

Soon after the governor won re-election, Time magazine, no doubt part of that "liberal media,"  maintained Chris Christie

has run the Garden State with combustible passion, blunt talk and the kind of bipartisan dealmaking that no one seems to do anymore. He doesn't claim to be an ideas man or a visionary. He's a workhorse with a temper and a tongue, the guy who loves his mother and gets it done.

That's because, hey, all other politicians absolutely hate their mother.  And the "workhorse" (who) "gets it done" learned (as Josh Barro points out) 117 days after the story broke that one of his Deputy Chiefs of Staff (Bridget Kelly) had ordered closure of lanes to the most-heavily used bridge in the world. Quite a way to "take the bull by the horns," though both Barbour and Christie should know bull when they see it.

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