Along with plenty of other changes, one thing Bridgegate has done to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is permanently damage what was once an enviable relationship with the press. For years, Christie could seemingly do no wrong in the national media's eyes, despite there being more than a few local New Jersey reporters willing to shed some light on the governor's darker practices. Yet a new report from Politico — historically, one of Christie's biggest fans in the media — shows that even the most clueless and Beltway-blinkered members of the press corps are starting to realize that Christie just ain't what he used to be. At this rate, Christie'll soon have only Joe Scarborough and Nicolle Wallace singing his praises.
Here's what you should know about Christie:
- Politico's new piece on the shadow presidential primary happening right now within the GOP is framed around a truth long understood outside the Beltway but only just now starting to really sink in among the media's political elite: He's no longer the party's 2016 front-runner. The report finds that insiders within the party and potential candidates now consider the race wide-open and believe Bridgegate has permanently — maybe even fatally — wounded Christie as a political figure.
- In that same vein, Philip Bumb of the Wire makes a persuasive argument that, in the court of public opinion, Christie will never truly be cleared of any Bridgegate wrongdoing. No matter how many investigations are released without proof that the governor knew about the engineered Fort Lee traffic snarl, there will be plenty of people — especially Democrats — who will find more questions to ask and more reasons to raise suspicion. Don't believe him? Google the following words: "Barack," "Obama," "Benghazi."
- Proving Bump's point, the Star-Ledger has a report on how the upcoming Christie-controlled internal inquiry, which reportedly finds the governor innocent, is playing among politicians and political insiders in the Garden State. The short answer: They think it's a patently compromised joke and are lending it very little credence, if any at all.
- Christie hasn't had many successes in 2014 thus far, but he at the very least has done this much: He's gotten a Democrat in Congress to admit his Republican colleagues may have been right. New Jersey Dem Frank Pallone is quoted in a Daily Beast report by Olivia Nuzzi as intimating that Republicans who held up providing federal aid to New Jersey in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, worried it would be wasted and/or "lost" due to corruption, may have been onto something. “I have to go back to the very people who said ‘I didn’t want to vote for this because it wasn’t going to be managed properly’ now that they’ve been proven right,” Pallone told Nuzzi. "It's very sad."