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Chris Christie and the politics of jerks in office

 

The media that built up Chris Christie as the salvation of the GOP is turning on him in the lead up to Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign announcement. It is what it is. The media does this routinely.

The story of the day is Chris Christie’s staff behaving badly, possibly at his direction, to hurt elected officials who did not back Christie.

Private messages between Governor’s Christie’s deputy chief of staff and two of his top executives at the Port Authority reveal a vindictive effort to create “traffic problems in Fort Lee” by shutting lanes to the George Washington Bridge and apparent pleasure at the resulting gridlock.

As a formerly elected municipal official, I can tell you first hand that local politics is far dirtier than national politics. This is just a taste of it.

Frankly , this is routine hardball politics that Republicans and Democrats alike engage in at the local level. Heck, the former mayor of Philadelphia once stopped paving sidewalks in front of people’s houses if they did not support him. 

In other areas, trash collection mysteriously stops. 

As a formerly elected municipal official, I can tell you first hand that local politics is far dirtier than national politics. This is just a taste of it.

The only difference is that Christie’s staff put it in emails, which was not smart. But there’s more here and it is going to be the problem that haunts Chris Christie. 

I’m ambivalent on his run for the presidency . But I don’t see him getting that far for the very reasons underlying this issue — he and his staff operate as divas.

I have had congressmen, governors, and the staffers of congressmen and governors tell me horror stories about dealing with Christie’s people.

All of them seem to dread it.

One congressman told me he wanted to talk to Christie about a matter and the staff would not put him through and would not even give him the Chief of Staff to talk to.

A governor told me that Christie’s staff treats incumbent governors as if they are low level staffers there to serve as Chris Christie’s advance team.

A Chief of Staff of a governor once told me that Christie’s staff began lecturing the Chief of Staff’s governor about the set up of an event and what that governor needed to say . Both the Chief of Staff and governor were rather hacked off by the arrogant tone.

Another senior staffer told me that after dealing with Christie for an event, they decided they ’d rather focus on drawing celebrities for instate functions because the riders and demands of celebrities tend to be much easier to deal with.

This was always going to be Christie’s problem. People want a winner. And they want someone who can be a jerk at time, too. But they want the person to be their jerk, not an jerk who tries to make everyone else his whipping boy

Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and editor of RedState.com.  Follow him on Twitter @EWErickson.