What is the number one rule in political campaigns???
The answer: Don’t give a story legs.
In reality, I suppose the actual number one rule is ‘don’t campaign for your opponent,’ but you get the idea.
For years Christie was immune from public criticism. As the US Attorney he really didn’t have to wade into the morass of local politics. And for the most part, he got a free ride from the press. Sure, some issues came up…but the “story” was always his success rate in high profile prosecutions of public officials.
Well, a couple of weeks ago, that changed. Not only is he campaigning for Governor, but for the first time reporters had questions on issues that had not been fully explained. It began with the disclosure of the $46,000 loan to Michele Brown which struck many as peculiar if not inappropriate.
last week, a second story emerged that the Christie camp did not like. I’ll spare you details since I outlined them in an earlier post but the long and short of it is this: Christie gets pulled over in 2005 near Lambertville for speeding. There is no proper insurance identification in the car, nor is the vehicle properly registered. With him in the car were the Christie family and Michele Brown.
But here is where the details get a little murky. It has been reported that Christie was identified as the US Attorney during the stop. Although he claims not by him. One report said that Brown flashed a badge and explained to the officer who they were. But Christie said Saturday that the tow-truck operator “recognized” him.
Christie’s remarks over the weekend ( when the already diminished State House press corps is even smaller ) were the first he has made in person to reporters since the story broke last Wednesday.
Naturally, that has led to speculation about why some of the details seem elusive. Today, Christie again took questions and essentially blamed his wife for the lapses in documentation since it was her car.
Look, as I said earlier…there might not be anything to this story. But there are a couple of inconsistencies. For example, when I spoke to the prosecutor who handled the case for Lambertville he said he did not ever see the words “no deal” printed on the ticket. Well, it is clearly written there since the ticket was posted on politickernj. And normally cops write that when they have had an unpleasant encounter with a motorist.
I have also reached out the Lambertville Police Director. I was told he “wasn’t in” on Friday. And today I was told “he is no longer returning media calls.”
Now does that settle it, or does that merely make this more intriguing?
Again I go back to that rule. Christie’s absences on the trail since these stories trickled out only fuel speculation in the press that lingering questions were being avoided or not properly addressed. And when the Police Director suddenly clams up, it makes us wonder what is being hidden.
Not to say that anything is…but it just keeps seemingly innocuous stories alive.
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