RON HART: Christie's fat and furious braking bad

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 05:13 PM.

ROSEMARY BEACH — The New Jersey governor is in full damage control mode. He conducted a two-hour press conference well, explaining that he had no idea his staffers orchestrated a traffic slowdown on the country's busiest bridge for political payback.

Thanks to political maneuvering by his predecessor, Democrat Jon Corzine, the governorship in New Jersey has immense power. And Christie is a guy you want to have on your side — unless you are in a canoe.

Christie came up in politics as a prosecutor; those scare me the most. Think of Eliot Spitzer and Eric Holder. Christie even looks like an American League umpire who likes to argue his call with the coach.

The bridge saga is indicative of how politics in the North work. Dirty tricks are expected. To be surprised at this would be like expecting Christie not to eat a few of your fries if he drove through McDonald’s to get lunch.

It's a tale worthy of “Political Machine meets the Sopranos.”

Republican politics in the North are an odd cross-current of agendas. New Jersey was overrun with bears, yet the legislators had this long debate about whether to allow the bears to be hunted to control their population. New Jersey would be the only state that would finally allow its citizens to hunt bears, but force the bears at gunpoint to dig their own graves before shooting them.

The Christie excuse is plausible. Politicians surround themselves with sycophants who crave their bosses’ attention. We all know politicians have large egos; Washington, D.C., is Hollywood for ugly people — a dangerous combination. Young political operatives tend to view their craft through TV shows like “Scandal,” “House of Cards” and “The Good Wife,” which glamorize mischievous, Machiavellian antics.

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