Some words to ponder from Christie's report

Gov. Christie at a Mount Laurel town-hall meeting last month. What points can be taken from the report seeking to clear him?
Gov. Christie at a Mount Laurel town-hall meeting last month. What points can be taken from the report seeking to clear him? (MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer)
Posted: April 02, 2014

To borrow a word or phrase from the million-dollar investigation/absolution New Jersey taxpayers underwrote on behalf of Gov. Christie, I'm emotional.

I'm upset. I'm nervous. I'm on fire.

People say I appear to have been crying.

And I have, in fact, cried.

I'm really upset with him - even if the he in question is not the man I thought he was.

Look, I don't want to talk about having been personally involved with someone in a position of power and influence in New Jersey.

The personal relationship I once had with a guy some might call my benefactor has, alas, cooled.

So cool, the two of us have largely stopped speaking, if we ever really did.

He ended it, or his actions did, so . . . it was his choice. You know what that means - even if I don't want to talk about it.

I was not interviewed and so am not directly quoted in the 359-page George Washington Bridge scandal narrative - the report that enables the governor to reaffirm the not-guilty finding he found all by himself.

I'm not one of the 70 people whose conversations with investigators inform the lawyerly, yet action-packed, recounting of recent historical/hysterical moments in Trenton's highest echelons.

The inner sanctum, if the report is to be believed, is far less glamorous than one might have hoped.

Most denizens of this rarefied realm are garrulous, if tedious, operatives who utter banal profanities while trying to text their way out of endless (political) jams of their own making. And you thought public service was about serving the public!

The report's authors, meanwhile, possess not only lofty professional reputations, but magical powers. They can deduce exactly when a person whose personal relationship has cooled becomes evasive, or worse.

In such a version of reality, even a person whose precise motives remain to be determined is found to be in possession of an ulterior motive.

Particularly when this person is upset, has lashed out, and on more than one occasion appears to have been crying. Particularly, it seems, if the person is a woman.

But I'm not Bridget Anne Kelly, the staffer who had an affair with an associate - an involvement the report exploits by inexplicably linking it to the bridge shenanigans.

Kelly is emotional, nervous, upset, and appears to have panicked; she's a volatile sort (unlike, say, Christie) who lashes out at enemies, real and imaginary.

She's the author of the infamous digital missive Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee, along with the truly appalling is it wrong that I am smiling?

The latter was a reference to reports of the jam-nation underway at the Fort Lee tolls. No wonder Kelly finds herself among the underlings whom Christie ( "she lied to me") exiled somewhere under the bus.

I can't speak for Kelly, but I can speak as someone who has carried on a secret and one-sided affair that also ended badly: My unrequited bromance with Gov. Christie.

In the beginning, I was smitten by the bluntness, the brass, the flashes of wit and sense of fun.

I liked that he can reach across the aisle, that he understands the nature of addiction and alcoholism, and that he recognizes that Camden requires (and deserves) special attention.

To watch the governor work a room - even at one of his meticulously staged town-hall meetings - is to watch a prodigiously gifted politician at the top of his game.

Thrilling to witness. But the thrill is gone.

No wonder I feel emotional.

The taxpayer-funded, self-serving and, yes, profoundly sexist report the governor wants us to regard as vindication is, instead, confirmation.

Gov. Christie and his administration aren't something different. They're just more of the same.


kriordan@phillynews.com

856-779-3845 @inqkriordan

www.inquirer.com/blinq

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