Traffic may have spelt the end to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s hopes of being a credible Republican presidential candidate in 2016.
Previously he had won a reputation as a straight-talking Republican able to win over Democrats, unencumbered by Tea Party dogma, and with a common-touch that made many friends. That is now in tatters and he is coming across as a bully after aides conducted dirty tricks on a rival that meant traffic chaos for an entire town.
“I come out here today to apologise to the people of New Jersey. I apologise to the people of Fort Lee and I apologise to the members of the state legislature. I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team,” said Christie belatedly firing his Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Ann Kelly.
School buses were stuck in jams for hours, and several sick people got to hospital later than normal. That Christies’ aides, he’s fired three, overstepped their authority without his knowledge is one thing; that the Governor was unable to stop it, or even conduct better damage limitations, or say some cynically, organise what should have been an easy cover-up, says volumes about his political abilities, and presidential aspirations.