You know, that deeply contrite and very sad plan to "get to the bottom of it" -- the George Washington Bridge scandal, while at the same time salvage what's left of his political career, from the public's insatiable need to dismiss "old news" and move on to what's new.
Hypothetically, this has been Christie's behind-the-scenes Bridgegate Calculus, since the story first broke:
1) Play Dumb.
2) Deny knowing anything, until you no longer can plausibly deny it.
3) Blame everyone, but yourself. Throw key staffers under the Political Bus.
4) Conduct your own internal investigation that blames those staffers, and leaves yourself blameless.
5) Declare yourself blameless, and call for Port Authority reform. Declare the matter over.
6) Lie low and wait for the News Cycle to move on, except for the occasional reputation-rebuilding media event, and quiet donor networking.
7) If the question of Bridgegate blame does come up -- Dismiss it, saying a study was done that confirms your innocence. Time to Move on. Next question.
8) Bide your time, and wait for that right moment to publicly jump into the primary fray, as the only viable, accomplished candidate left standing on the GOP's off-the-rails train.
9) Tack hard right to win the Primary.
10) Tack back to the center, to win the Moderates and the Independents, and thus the next Presidential Election.
And according to this next report, I'd say Chris Christie is right about step 6 of that Christie career make-over game plan.
by Matt Arco, NJ Advance Media, for NJ.com -- July 20, 2014
4. Bridgegate’s fading from national view
During Christie’s hourlong appearance at the Marion restaurant, reporters had plenty of time to pepper the governor with questions. Not a single query on the George Washington Bridge controversy was tossed at the governor -- even as Christie’s incoming chief of staff was being questioned by a joint legislative committee investigating the lane closings the same day back in New Jersey.
It was the same the previous week in Nashville, when Christie briefly held court with reporters at a conference for the National Governors Association.
Cantana Boucher, a pastor from Cedar Rapids, said she’s giving Christie a pass on the scandal: "The way that his team turned on him, and kind of tricked him, with the bridge incident, you know, that wasn’t his doing at all," she said.
All according to Hoyle ... or more likely the Rove Political Playbook, it seems.
And the fifth trend that Chris Christie has been routinely displaying, as 'he fulfills his duties' as the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association ...
5. He’s laying the groundwork
[...] "Governor Christie is a strong leader," said Richard Staddon of Bellevue [Iowa]. "He’s a no-nonsense type of person. He knows what needs to be done and takes charge and moves forward aggressively and that’s what this country needs is leadership. He has it."
He's getting it done alright. He's getting the public to accept his unproven version of Bridgegate events. You know the one where he knows nothing and has done absolutely nothing wrong.
Now if only the ongoing investigations become as bored and/or forgiving, as the general public seems now poised to do. It sure is amazing what one poorly executed, extremely lame, late-night "Dad Dance" around Father's day -- will do for one's floundering political career, now isn't it?
Such is the power of self-depreciating humor ... and 24/7 "news cycle" saturation. Suddenly you've been rehabilitated, and are as right as rain.
Now onto Step 7 ... it seems Christie is still a Politician with a 10-step plan, that amazingly is somehow working.