When Loyalty is But Skin Deep
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s super bowl weekend took a bit of a dive after David Wildstein, the ousted Port Authority Executive, dropped a stinker late in the week.
Wildstein was widely touted as a high school chum of the chubby Guv but the former federal prosecutor disabused reporters of such closeness during his marathon press conference a few weeks ago.
According to the New York Times, “Mr. Christie said his friendship with Mr. Wildstein had been overstated; that while the governor had been class president and an athlete, he did not recall Mr. Wildstein well from that period and that he had rarely seen him in recent months.”
The apparently irked Wildstein has said through his attorney that Christie knew about the now infamous GW Bridge lane closures even as they were occurring despite Christie’s earlier assertion to the contrary.
The Bully Strikes Back
Christie struck back yesterday when his "team" sent out a lengthy and aggressive email disparaging Wildstein by listing some bizarre facts:
From NYT: “as a 16-year-old kid,” Mr. Wildstein had sued over a school board election; that he had been “publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior”
While these may be high crimes to Christie, is it really relevant to the story?
Even as the Guv says he and Wildstein were not close, it implies that he was closer than he suggests.
Christie is trying to protect his formidable derriere at the very time he needs loyalty from (former) acolytes who are now intent on protecting theirs. This would appear to be a delicate balancing act for someone not known for their delicacy.
Wildstein and Bill Baroni were the first to be thrown overboard in an attempt to stem the furor and propagate the absurd notion that the lane closures were a “traffic study.”
That Christie would “bank” on their loyalty seems odd, especially after he all but dismissed their long term acquaintance and association. But, the hubristic nature of power is a heady tonic that can suggest that the rules of human nature do not apply.
But they do.
Rare, indeed, is the person who enjoys being publicly humiliated or dismissed, especially at the hands of a petty tyrant.
Rarer still is the person who would pass up the opportunity to reclaim their esteem or preserve their dignity, or protect their behind.
Chris Christie, bully incarnate, is about to (re) learn the fundamentals of human nature.
(NYT, Guardian, DM, NYDN, Politico)