Tuesday, July 22, 2014

And Helping You Helps Me- How?

The online edition of the Star-Ledger of Newark, NJ reports

Gov. Chris Christie was campaigning as chairman of the Republican Governors Association in Connecticut today, but don’t expect him to be making any similar upcoming trips to New York.

The governor, boasting about his ability to make a quick campaign trip for a Republican gubernatorial hopeful here because of its proximity to the Garden State, suggested it’s unlikely he’ll be supporting the Republican hoping to oust New York’s Democratic incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo anytime soon.

“I will spend time in places where we have a chance to win, I said that right from the beginning,” said Christie, who took the reins as chairman of the RGA in November.

“We don’t pay for landslides and we don’t invest in lost causes,” he said when asked about the possibility of campaign trips to the Empire State. “If the New York race becomes competitive, I’ll consider campaigning in the New York race, but right now, by the public polls, there’s a lot more competitive races like this one in Connecticut.”

According to a poll released Monday, Cuomo holds a 37 percentage-point lead among likely voters over his Republican challenger, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Cuomo led Astorino 60 percent to 23 percent, the Sienna College survey found.

Astorino maintains if Christie

is unable to help a Republican candidate for governor, then maybe he should consider stepping down as chairman of the RGA. That’s his job....

I don’t know if there’s a connection between him and Andrew Cuomo on Bridgegate, or if Cuomo has something that he’s holding back, information that could be damaging to the governor.

Whatever Gov. Christie knew or didn’t know is probably the same for Gov. Cuomo. And if there’s anything being held back that Gov. Cuomo knows and if he’s holding that over Gov. Christie’s head, I don’t know.

Of course he should, certainly there is, and Mr. Astorino needn't be so reticent.  On December 12, The Wall Street Journal had reported (subscription required; this from Daily Kos)

Mr. Christie, a Republican, complained in a private phone call to Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, that Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was pressing too hard to get to the bottom of why the number of toll lanes onto the bridge from Fort Lee, N.J., was cut from three to one in early September, according to this person. The lane closures occurred without notice to local authorities, officials have said, and snarled traffic for a week in the small borough on the Hudson River bluffs.

There is a blizzard's chance in Miami Beach that the Repub New Jersey governor and the ostensibly Democratic New York governor (photo below of them and Astorino from Getty/AP) don't have something going together.  But when Christie, who could have said something nondescript such as "we will apportion our resources in a manner which would be most effective," is taking his cue from his political ally.

Just after Memorial Day, 2013, when the Governor was gearing up for an election campaign against Democratic challenger Barbara Buono, he was granted the privilege (at that time, in New Jersey, a major gift) of appearing in public with President Obama while feigning interest in Hurricane Sandy victims.  The President's schedule was so completely filled that summer and autumn, he was unable to find the time even to endorse the Democratic nominee, thereby helping to boost Christie's victory margin as the Governor dreamt of the White House.

Barack Obama gave the back of the hand to his own party's gubernatorial nominee so he could come to the aid of Chris Christie.  Now Governor Opportunist is doing the same to Rob Astorino so he can boost Andrew Cuomo, who would jump into the Democratic presidential race yesterday if Hillary Clinton declines to run. (And if she does run, as expected, a Cuomo re-election landslide would boost his hopes in 2020 or 2024.) Whatever works for me is the guiding principle.

Sixty years ago in The Lone Ranger, it was "varmints." Now it's scoundrels. Either way, it's how they roll.

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