One of the traits that mark an adult bully is his tireless efforts to deflect blame onto others, most frequently subordinates and coworkers. That is certainly the case with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie whose former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, and former ally, Port Authority executive Bill Baroni, have been sentenced to prison for their roles in the 2013 George Washington Bridge lane closures that led to days of traffic gridlock.
Christie, an early supporter of Donald Trump who at one time seemed poised for a position in the new cabinet, appears to be back in the administration’s good graces. It is a bitter irony that at the same time his scapegoats were convicted of public corruption thanks to a mission of political revenge on Christie’s behalf against Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee for not backing the governor’s reelection. Christie showed his support by being in Washington while the pair was sentenced.
While Christie may have escaped unscathed, others aren’t fooled. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Judge Susan Wigenton said, “It’s very clear to me that the environment in Trenton created a culture of either you’re with us, or you’re against us.”
The response from a Christie spokesman wasn’t surprising. He tried to explain away the judge’s comment by saying that her “ill-advised remark is based on the perjurious testimony of three convicted felons.”
Not unlike the case with the executives at Wells Fargo, Christie feigned ignorance and threw others under the bus. There is no scenario in which this conviction exonerates Christie; either he was lying and corrupt, or he was inept and refused to hear what was going on around him. Either way, he reveals himself as the worst type of bully boss. It amazing it took this long for him to get back into favor with the Bully-in-Chief.
Illustration credit: Chip Bok/Bokbuster.com