In New Jersey, the weekend ended in what? A traffic jam.
Gov. Chris Christie had a rough weekend indeed.
There’s that little matter of a bridge and some traffic dogging his administration. Then the Super Bowl, which was expected to be a crowning moment for the state and for Christie. However, the game — marketed as the first “mass-transit Super Bowl,” was marked by the near meltdown of New Jersey Transit at its end.
On Friday, David Wildstein, the former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official cited in a cache of emails with triggering the September closure of local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, said in a letter sent by attorney Alan Zegas that Christie knew about the closures before he’s previously let on. Zegas said Wildstein has unspecified evidence that can prove the governor was untruthful in his previous statements.
Christie, who went to Livingston High School with Wildstein, issued an email to supporters the following day trashing Wildstein and calling the claims false and saying his past was littered with accounts of “tumultuous” behavior reaching back to those high school days. “Bottom line — David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein,” Christie said in the e-mail, which was obtained by Bloomberg News.
The Democratic National Committee was happy to remind Christie and the rest of the world about all this on the day of the “big game.”
It turns out the governor called the big game wrong, too. On Jan. 30, Christie had said in a radio interview that he expected the Denver Broncos to carry Super Bowl XLVIII in what he said would be a close victory but “ it’s going to be very tough for Seattle to cover that offense.”
The Seattle Seahawks routed the governor’s team 43-8. And in the game billed as the first mass-transit Super Bowl, New Jersey Transit was forced to asked fans to remain in their seats due to delays on the one line taking attendees back to its main station in Secaucus.
Were things really that bad?
“No question. They haven’t been getting any easier for the past month,” said Patrick Murray, who tracks Christie as director of the Monmouth University polling institute. “And it’s not clear when, or if ever, it will start letting up.”
One bright side did emerge for Christie: Yahoo News, the Star-Ledger of Newark and other outlets reported that the Conservative Political Action Committee will award Christie a speaking slot at its conference next month. Last year, the governor was snubbed after he criticized House Republicans for delaying a $50 billion Hurricane Sandy aid package.