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"That was obviously a lie." That was the sentence, early in Governor Christie's opening remarks during his marathon press conference, that nearly threw me out of my chair. The words alone were not startling - it was the context. Here is the proceeding paragraph:

Over the course of the next hour, Kevin and Charlie interviewed each member of my senior staff, came back and reported to me that they all reported that there was no information other than what we already knew that had been testified to by Senator Baroni regarding this incident. I then questioned Kevin O'Dowd and Charlie McKenna directly, since they are the only two who report directly to me, and they assured me that they had no information that would change my ability to be able to say that no one, in response in Angie's (sp) question, on my staff was involved in this matter.
Then he said it:
That was obviously a lie.
But wasn't Christie referencing something he said in the prior sentence? The "that" Christie seemed to be referring to in the proceeding sentence is the act of Christie being "able to say that no one . . . on [his] staff was involved in this matter." What else could "that" be referencing? So shouldn't he have followed the quoted paragraph with the words, "that was obviously incorrect"? In other words, it was incorrect, when he said no one on his staff was involved.

But he didn't say that, he didn't say his representations were incorrect. Instead - he dropped a perceived bombshell. It sounded like he was saying that his representations were obviously a lie! Huh?  

Well yes, if he said nothing else, he should have said incorrect instead of lie. But then he went on - as we will discuss below. And from the context, it does seem he was indeed referring back to the first sentence in the above paragraph. There, Christie referenced what senior staff members told Kevin and Charlie - what we now know included Kelly's "lie." But if he really meant to reference the first sentence, he should have said "'there' was obviously a lie."

Let's look at the next paragraph:

That was obviously a lie. And the emails that I saw for the first time yesterday morning, when they broken in I believe the Bergen Record story, proved that that was a lie. There's no justification for that behavior. There's no justification for ever lying to a governor or a person in authority in this government. And as a result, I've terminated Bridget's employment immediately this morning.
Now if he really was referring back to the untruths told by a staffer, it seems he should have said:
There was obviously a lie. And the emails that I saw for the first time yesterday morning, when they broken in I believe the Bergen Record story, proved that there was a lie. There's no justification for that behavior. There's no justification for ever lying to a governor or a person in authority in this government. And as a result, I've terminated Bridget's employment immediately this morning.
But instead, he chose the very curious and perhaps telling word "that." And unless that was some kind of a subconscious admission, it seems like a very odd word choice - given the context.
False face must hide what the false heart doth know.
- William Shakespeare

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Comment Preferences

  •  It is an interesting point. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The only other "that" which he could be referring to would be the statement by Kevin O'Dowd and Charlie McKenna to him that they had found no information that would prevent Christie from claiming that his staff was not involved in the issue.

    Since Christie, presumably, did not know what they had asked Christie's staff, specifically, or what the answers might have been, how could he accuse O'Dowd and McKenna of lying to him?

    It is interesting that yesterday and today having had many hours to script his two statements, that they have been so unlawyer-like in their composition.

    Either he is deeply rattled.  And or he was being so careful in the wording of his statements to not say anything that might incriminate him, or be perceived, down the road, as a lie, that he ended up writing gibberish.

    Or maybe he has come down with the Palin flu.  I understand word salad is communicable, and that Republicans have no natural immunity.

    •  The only other "that" (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for pointing that out Marnie1! The reason I didn't mention it, was precisely because what you noted. He did not accuse Kevin or Charlie of lying, so their statement couldn't be the "that." BTW - watching The Last Word right now and Lawrence just nailed Christie changing his story during his press conference!

  •  Quite Interesting about pufferfish (0+ / 0-)

    In a BBC documentary tonight, dolphins were shown playing with a pufferfish. The pod played a sort of game of "tag" passing it from one to another until it ballooned up and used its second line of defense of releasing its toxin.

    This was quite deliberate on the part of the dolphins as the toxin, while fatal in large doses, acts as a narcotic in smaller doses. Having done its work, the pufferfish is released to go about its business while the dolphins hang around monged out.

    Any connection between Christie, his press statement and the excuses being made by GOP shrills is of course coincidental.

    We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 08:28:51 PM PST

  •  What do you mean by "is" or "that"? (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, Christie is a lawyer trying to talk his way out of a problem. Similar to Bubba.

    For the record, I interpret his "that" as referring to the whole story of questioning his staff.

    •  You need to listen to the audio... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Or read out loud the last sentence of the first block quote of my piece (starting with "I then questioned") and then say out loud the words "that was obviously a lie."

      It is very difficult to describe in writing what I heard when I listened to the press conference. That is why I suggest you find a link on YouTube or something and listen to the early part of the opening remarks.

      Perhaps you might have the same reaction. Maybe not. But it just did not sound right. The last thing he said, before saying "that was obviously a lie" was something about what HE eventually said, not the lies told by a staffer. That's why he should have phrased it differently.  

      There is no smoking gun here; I am just trying to have some fun and suggest that perhaps his odd word choice is a subconscious admission.  

      •  We are both in agreement (0+ / 0-)

        By "you" I meant Christie's referring to his made up story about talking to his staff. See how easily we get confused by lawyerspeak.

        Christie can't ask his staff to answer that question in one hour. They would all have to figure out how to find the best lawyers and golden parachutes, can't be done in an hour.

        Christie is a storyteller. He makes things up and nobody questions him. Followup questions to Christie are like a punch in the nose to a bully.

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