Christie’s and Obama’s Fantasy Islands highlight press preference

January 15, 2014

In 1623 English poet John Donne scribed one of humanity’s most basic truths: “No man is an island”.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is now living that truth.

Christie first garnered national attention in 2009 when he won the governorship of decidedly Democrat New Jersey.  That a Republican could win New Jersey was one thing, to do it in the first year of the Obama honeymoon, quite another.

Christie took on some of the most powerful unions in the country and won.  He shamed one of the most fiscally irresponsible state legislatures in the nation into at least a modicum of fiscal restraint.  And he had gone where no modern day politician had gone before by taking on the “radicals” in his own party.

The establishment loved him because behind his public bluster were private deals and business as usual.  The main stream press adored him because he gave them the most precious commodity of all:  Another chance to bash the Tea Party.  And every political strategist who had worked on a losing Republican campaign loved him because they had the perfect candidate to present to their mythical moderate middle.

Christie had created an island of political paradise in one of the most corrupt states in the country.

He handily won a second term and with recent polls showing him beating Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical 2016 Presidential matchup he was “living the dream”.

Only problem was he built his dream on Fantasy Island.

And that fantasy came crashing against the shores of reality the minute deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly typed “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” and hit send on her email to Christie appointed Port Authority member David Wildstein who replied “Got it”.

With that one exchange, thousands trying to access the George Washington Bridge from the Fort Lee New Jersey side endured days of commuter hell as two lanes suddenly closed for a “traffic study”.

While Kelly has been fired, Wildstein has resigned and Christie held a textbook perfect press conference, the tide against him is rising and his island is in serious danger.

We are now learning of a federal audit of Hurricane Sandy relief money spent on tourism ads highlighting Christie and his family, Hoboken New Jersey Mayor Dawn Zimmer is questioning why less than 1 percent of hazard mitigation grant money was awarded after not endorsing Christie for re-election, and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, an Iraq War veteran no less, could only watch last year as scheduled meetings with administration officials on transportation and Hurricane Sandy recovery were cancelled en mass following his own declination to endorse Christie.

Drip, drip, drip……

The established press narrative is that whether Christie knew of these political shenanigans is irrelevant.  He is the man at the top.  He is responsible.  He sets the tone.  He creates the culture.  He should be held to account.

I could not agree more.  Christie built his island; it’s up to him to defend it.

If only that same press would approach the Obama administration with the same veracity.

With four Americans killed in Benghazi, IRS abuses, AP and James Rosen being snooped on, NSA spying on everyone, Fast and Furious, and the debacle that is one would think there would be a long list of fired bureaucrats held to account by the man at the top.  Yet to date, not name one on that list.

Both Christie AND Obama should be held to account.

But Obama’s island is in the shape of a D.  And that, as we know, makes all the difference in the world.

Publisher’s Note:  A version of this column first appeared in the Wednesday, January 15th print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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