1. IT’S NOT ABOUT POLITICS, IT’S THE MONEY. This is New Jersey. Home of Tony Soprano. It’s always about the money. Seriously. The bridge closing was not payback for Ft. Lee’s mayor (supposedly for not endorsing Christie’s run for governor). That this silliness has become the conventional wisdom explanation means that it is REALLY a distraction (think “cover”) from the actual reason. Christie even trekked up to Ft. Lee to sell it. It makes it out to be a petty political cat fight rather than what it’s really about. The money. As this onion is unpeeled, stay alert and follow the money. And, oh yeah, look for the money.
2. FORGET THE PRESS CONFERENCE. Christie’s 2-hour (or whatever it was) press conference had all the authenticity of a Potemkin Village. Here’s how it works, boys and girls: If you want to be a successful NJ (or elsewhere) political reporter, you need access. Especially in NJ to the governor and his drones. And you don’t get that access if you don’t play the game. Capiche? Believe me all the reporters selected for his no-holds-barred let-it-all-hang-out press conference did. Which explains the feather pillow intensity of their questioning and how they all thought he did a marvelous job.
3. SOMEBODY WILL TALK. Omertà no longer works in the modern world. Just as Sammy the Bull gave up the Teflon Don, some prison-terrified drone is going to give up the real story on this. The rule-of-thumb in conspiracies is the first one to turn gets the best deal from the prosecutor. My money’s on David Wildstein from the Port Authority (whose lawyer has already said he’ll deal for immunity) and who could turn out to be the Abe Reles of this whole deal.
4, CHRIS CHRISTIE’S IS IN REAL DANGER. And I don ’t mean his outsize political ambitions. Christie (an experienced former Federal prosecutor in corruption cases) has made a big point that he did not know anything prior to Wednesday January 8, when he found out and fired his chief of staff. The reason for this is to distance himself from any actual knowledge or involvement. If he didn’t know, he can’t be held responsible. But if he did know (hey, he called the NY Governor and asked him to get the Port Authority guys to lay off the story!), it could be very, very bad. See SOMEBODY WILL TALK, supra.