Bridgegate as a news story and public investigation is far from over, but at the end of round #1, Governor Chris Christie provided us with a very stark contrast on Wednesday in how he handled the much-anticipated Bridgegate press conference, shortly before which we learned that he’d fired Bridget Kelly and asked Bill Stepien to leave his organization.
He followed our pal Dan Cirucci’s advice and the media gave him a two hour televised town hall to make his case. When have you have you ever seen POTUS hold a 2-hour press availability (when he has them at all)? Not too shabby!
The takeaway lesson for those of you with an eye on the national dimensions of this incident: we’ve now seen more folks lose their jobs because of Bridgegate than most of President Barack Obama’s many scandals (e.g. Fast ‘n’ Furious, IRS-gate, Benghazi-gate, etc.) combined.
Two of my favorite people in New Jersey Republican politics said it best in reacting to the Governor’s presser…
Cape GOP Chairman Mike Donohue:
“Governor Chris Christie today demonstrated the kind of leadership that he has become known for throughout New Jersey and the nation. His statement today was a rare and refreshing “buck stops here” moment in politics that we have not seen in many years. By apologizing and taking responsibility for the actions of certain staff members and being decisive in dealing honestly with the issues, Governor Christie has set a higher standard for our other political leaders and elected officials.”
Save Jersey Managing Editor Brian McGovern:
“Christie really separating himself from Obama in terms of leadership today. The President fires no one for participation in scandalous activity. Christie took action immediately on even one of his closest advisors. Well handled so far.”