Spotlight

Traffic Jammed

FORT LEE, NJ - DECEMBER 17: Traffic moves over the Hudson River and across the George Washington Bridge between New York City (R), and in Fort Lee, New Jersey on December 17, 2013. New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie has had to fend off allegations in a scandal involving the bridge. In September, two of Christie's top appointees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ordered the lanes on the bridge shut to traffic, causing days of gridlock in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Some Democrats have said that the move was political revenge against the town's mayor, Democrat Mark Sokolich, for not endorsing Christie for reelection.
National Journal
Alex Roarty
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Alex Roarty
Jan. 9, 2014, 6:55 a.m.

Chris Christie‘s pres­id­en­tial am­bi­tions didn’t end this week. But the New Jer­sey gov­ernor has stumbled in­to the kind of scan­dal Re­pub­lic­ans have tried in vain to hang around the neck of his fel­low White House front-run­ner, Hil­lary Clin­ton. The former sec­ret­ary of State emerged from the Benghazi con­tro­versy re­l­at­ively un­scathed after Re­pub­lic­ans failed to dir­ectly im­plic­ate her in the death of four Amer­ic­ans at the North Afric­an out­post. The same can­not be said of Christie, who must an­swer for the vin­dict­ive ac­tions of his staff even if he wasn’t per­son­ally in­volved in last Septem­ber’s clos­ure of two traffic lanes on the George Wash­ing­ton Bridge. There’s no doubt this scan­dal is the first real tar­nish on his cam­paign.

— Demo­crats are seiz­ing the mo­ment. Their ef­forts to define Christie’s dur­ing last year’s reelec­tion bid were in­ef­fec­tu­al — after all, it’s hard to knock a Re­pub­lic­an when he’s on his way to a 20-point vic­tory in a deep-blue state. Now they have a ware­house of am­muni­tion to use. “What they’re do­ing now in 2014 is mak­ing up for lost time,” said one GOP seni­or strategist. “And they’re doub­ling their ef­forts.”

— After four years of us­ing his prox­im­ity to New York as an ad­vant­age, the gov­ernor is also dis­cov­er­ing the down­side of run­ning a state (par­tially) in the coun­try’s largest me­dia mar­ket. This would re­gister as a big story any­where, es­pe­cially if the man at the cen­ter of it was a lead­ing pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate. But that the traffic jam happened next to New York has raised the out­cry’s decibel level, and pushed cable net­works the give the story wall-to-wall cov­er­age.

— In­flu­en­tial Re­pub­lic­ans, who have glee­fully lined up be­hind the Jer­sey gov­ernor’s loom­ing pres­id­en­tial cam­paign, will watch closely how he handles him­self the next few days. His press con­fer­ence Thursday, in which he said the scan­dal had “em­bar­rassed and hu­mi­li­ated” him, ap­peared to be a good first step. Not to men­tion the swift fir­ing of former deputy chief of staff Brid­get Kelly and the ver­it­able ex­com­mu­nic­a­tion of former cam­paign man­ager Bill Step­i­en.

So far, most party eld­ers are stand­ing by the gov­ernor. But on a na­tion­al stage, the first real dam­age to Christie has been done.

What We're Following See More »
ALL 100 SENATORS
Dem Senator Calls North Korea Briefing “Sobering”
50 minutes ago
THE DETAILS
SAYS CLINTON ADMINISTRATION BASICALLY GOT IT RIGHT
Pai Announces Plans to Roll Back Net Neutrality
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Even as he acknowledged the importance of an open internet, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday set his telecom agency on a course to scrap the tough, broad net neutrality protections imposed by the Obama administration. During a major speech in Washington, D.C., Pai outlined the need for a total revision of existing federal rules that seek to prevent companies like AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon from blocking or slowing down web content, including the movie or music offerings from their competitors." Separately, Pai told Reason's Nick Gillespie that the Clinton Administration "basically got it right when it came to digital infrastructure. We were not living in a digital dystopia in the years leading up to 2015."

Source:
WILL ANGER CONSERVATIVES
White House to Continue Paying Obamacare Insurers
2 hours ago
BREAKING
LOFTY GOALS
White House Proposes New Tax Plan
3 hours ago
BREAKING

The White House on Wednesday laid out its plan for tax reform, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying it would be "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country." The tax code would be broken down into just three tax brackets, with the highest personal income tax rate cut from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. The plan would also slash the tax rate on corporations and small businesses from 35 percent to 15 percent. "The White House plan is a set of principles with few details, but it’s designed to be the starting point of a major push to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive tax reform package this year," said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

Source:
ORDERED BY PRESIDENT
DHS Launches Office for Victims of Crimes by Immigrants
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement today established the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE), as called for in a presidential executive order from January. The new office's website states that its staff "will be guided by a singular, straightforward mission—to ensure victims and their families have access to releasable information about a perpetrator and to offer assistance explaining the immigration removal process."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login