The Governor's camp is now blaming Bridgegate on an "emotional" and "erratic" female staffer.
I am very proud to be from New Jersey, to an extent that's arguably irrational: Stockholm Syndrome relocated to the Eastern Seaboard. Despite my liberal politics, I even harbor an unlikely fondness for our Republican governor, Chris Christie. He'd never (ever) get my vote, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate him as a character. I love Christie in the same way I love Tony Soprano — as a delightfully cantankerous creature of fiction whose actions, if real, would be horrifying. I like having him around, but at a distance, like a funny, drunk uncle.
Last September, Bridgegate (in case you missed it: Christie's staff engineered traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge to spite the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey) rocked Trenton. I'm embarrassed to admit that the conspiracy didn't really bother me, even though the lane closures had a direct effect on my commute into Manhattan. It was just that the scandal was so hilariously childish, so hilariously in character with the governor's churlish public persona.
But as of today, Christie has finally managed to really piss me off — and I don't think we're coming back from this one. He recently hired a law firm (their fees kindly paid by taxpayers) to exonerate himself from Bridgegate. In a 345-page report released yesterday, investigators laid the blame for the scandal on two Christie allies: the Port Authority's David Wildstein and Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor's deputy chief of staff. Wildstein resigned in December and Kelly was fired in January when e-mail records implicated her in the lane closures.
Here's where shit gets shitty. I don't doubt that Kelly was involved in wrongdoing (nor would I suggest that she shouldn't have lost her job), but her treatment in the report is disgustingly sexist. Kelly is described as "emotional," "erratic," and "habitually concerned about how she was perceived by the governor." (You know how us girls are, what with our hormones and tampons!) Worse, the report slut-shames Kelly: cattily attributing her behavior to the end of her romantic relationship with Christie's chief of staff, Bill Stepien, who dumped her. (Bitches be crazy!)
It's one thing to throw your longtime aide under the bus. What you've done is push the gearshift into reverse and roll back over her again. The whole affair is downright creepy — and that's why you, Chris Christie, are Nerve's Jackass of the Week. Fuck you, sir.
Image via Gage Skidmore.