Chris Christie Is a Bully

But could that actually help his political career?

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 9, 2014 9:07 AM CST

(Newser) – As Chris Christie finds himself embroiled in scandal, the pundits are weighing in, with Ezra Klein calling the New Jersey governor "really, truly a bully" in the Washington Post. It's previously been reported, for instance, that an aide follows him, taping moments during which he "annihilates some citizen who dares to question him." Klein continues: "There's a lot about Christie that's deeply appealing. But there's one big thing that's not: He's someone who uses his office to intimidate people and punish or humiliate perceived enemies."

  • At the Daily Beast, Jamelle Bouie wonders if the presidential contender is facing the "beginning of the end." The case of the George Washington Bridge "has revealed that the governor is as thuggish and corrupt as he seemed to opponents in 2009. Or if that's unfair, then at least, he's someone surrounded by thuggish and corrupt people who have no business in the federal government, to say nothing of the White House."
  • Will we forget this scandal? John Dickerson, writing at Slate, doubts it: It's "cinematic, amusing, and repeatable." Still, there could be a silver lining for Christie: If he "handles the fallout with skill, you could see voters finding their way to a rationalization. Sure, he is a little messy, but that’s why he gets results! The truth of leadership is that you want a president who can be a bit of a bully."
  • In an opinion headlined, "The Bully Was a Dupe," the New York Times editorial board writes that Christie "can start by getting rid of every one of his aides and cronies who knew about this scheme and show what actions he will take against the person with ultimate responsibility for his administration: himself."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering in Union City, NJ, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering in Union City, NJ, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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