Christie’s Trashing Of Bridget Kelly Speaks Volumes About Chris Christie



By Dartagnan

Daily Kos member

I’m glad to see I’m not the only one disgusted at this blatant, sexist dogwhistle bullshit from Chris Christie.

She (Bridget Kelly) “seemed emotional.” She was “habitually concerned about how she was perceived by the governor.” A boyfriend had ended a relationship. Bridget Anne Kelly has been the center of blame in the George Washington Bridge lane closing scandal since early January, when it was revealed that she sent an email calling for “some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

Christie’s already called Kelly, his former Deputy Chief of Staff, “stupid.” And I’m sure he feels she was stupid. He actually had a decent shot at the Republican Presidential nomination until this email and several others blew up in his face.  Since that time it’s been quite the downhill slide for Christie – he’s being hounded and protested in town halls, he’s shunted to the back door entrance for fundraisers, and he’s been the butt of late-night comedians’ jokes. Now he’s potentially looking at a career-dampening stint in a minimum security facility if any of his former aides produce incriminating evidence about, say, Hurricane Sandy Relief Funds. Which may be why his crack taxpayer-funded legal team never bothered to interview the principals purportedly involved in the Bridge Lane Closures and chose instead to cast aspersions on the people who seem to be the ones designated to take the fall.

With all that swirling around him, yep, someone sure had to be stupid.

One of the people Christie’s hand-picked lawyers failed to interview was Bridget Kelly. But it seems they already knew what they were going to say about her:

[T]he report commissioned by Mr. Christie and released Thursday doubles down on a strategy of portraying Ms. Kelly as duplicitous, weeping frequently and dependent on men for approval and stability.

And in case anyone missed it, the “hysterical, fucked-up woman” theme was bolstered by sly innuendo about a torrid romance with Bill Stepian, Christie’s former campaign manager.

So she’s not only stupid in this tall tale, she was sexually messed up — and you know what that can do to a woman–wink, wink!  She’s liable to say or do anything, right?

Christie’s mouthpieces knew damn well this angle would be sucked up by a salivating media and would help distance the fact that the self-serving report essentially amounted to a million-dollar waste of New Jersey’s taxpayers’ money.  And the micromanaging, dossier-hoarding Christie reviewed every word of it before it went out, you can be sure.

Though the lawyers who wrote the report did not interview her, they explain her conduct in unusually personal terms — she is out of the office attending to a family member who had been hospitalized; a brief relationship “had cooled” at the “behest” of the man, Mr. Christie’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien.The report concludes that “events in her personal life may have had some bearing on her subjective motivations and state of mind.”

The subtext here (in case you missed it) is that she was rejected by Stepian. That this sent her into an emotional tailspin, perhaps? That she wasn’t thinking straight, tormented by the prospect of her raging female hormones being denied.

Why, any man (nudge, nudge) could see what we’re saying here….do we really need to spell it out?

Whatever we may think of someone who even worked for such a person as Chris Christie, the sexist dogwhistles evinced in this report are, as the Times notes, at odds with reality:

The portrayal conflicts with ones offered by others: legislators who worked with Ms. Kelly in her role on Mr. Christie’s staff, who describe her as devoted to her job and assiduous to detail; friends who describe her as tough-minded through the challenges of a divorce and family health problems; her lawyer, who describes her as a 42-year-old single mother trying to make do even with cameras camped outside.

The Times article quotes several of Kelly’s friends and neighbors who basically vouch for her integrity and “stability,” and wonder why similar sexually-tinged innuendo wasn’t dished out to any of the male participants in this scandal.  But some of them give credit where credit is due:

Some friends — including those who voted for Mr. Christie — reserved some of their harshest comments for him.

Whatever the result of such tactics, there is little doubt they reflect upon the type of person Christie actually is, rather than the persona he seeks to portray in the media:

“This report was meant to whitewash Governor Christie’s reputation as a bully, but it actually confirms that he does embrace a culture of intimidation and retaliation,” said Lis Smith, a Democratic consultant[.] “He’s throwing every sexist slur at Kelly while needlessly and aggressively injecting details about her personal life. It’s a cynical attempt to distract from the real story.

Good luck with that, Governor.

Reprinted with permission from the Daily Kos