The Two Minutes, Rather than Two Hours, That Would Have Restored His Brand
Assuming that the Governor did, indeed, know more than he said he knew during his famous two-hour press conference, this two-minute statement would have allowed him to be honest, keep (and even reinforce) the bold, real, authentic reputation that has been so refreshing and successful... and take only a minor hit instead of the likely fatal one he is in the process of suffering.
What is most devastating to Chris Christie is that his press conference and his denials completely destroy his unique brand because they directly contradict it. I believe that this kind of a mea culpa statement, and only something like this, would have saved, and perhaps even enhanced, that very powerful brand that had everyone thinking of him in 2016.
The Statement That Chris Christie Should Have Given:
"As most of you know, I play full out.
I love the competition of ideas and politics.
I love to win... and I hate to lose.
On ___ I did become aware that there was a closure of the the George Washington Bridge and did think that it might be the result of an enthusiastic employee overstepping and showing some 'muscle.'
My huge mistake,
My massive error,
Was to not take this any further, to not question it, intervene, end it.
And, with great embarrassment, I stand here and tell you that I did it because there was a part of me so consumed by the competition energy of politics, the 'win at all costs,' the political version of the famous two-word statement ending in the word 'you' ... and that these consuming thoughts obviously won my mind and heart in that moment.
It was wrong
It is reprehensible that a Governor would do this
It is embarrassing and
I ask for forgiveness.
I'm sorry to you, Mayor Sokolich, and
I'm sorry to you -- every single one of you who got stopped on that bridge
And I vow that this kind of politics will never happen again, under my watch, in the great State of New Jersey.
And, indeed, perhaps we need to re-think politics in general, think about reducing the partisanship and 'win at all costs' competition mentality in all state governments, in Washington, on talk radio, on television, and across our great country.
And I am going to start right here in Trenton and personally chair a committee, that I will pay for out of my own pocket -- not the taxpayers -- to come up with ways to reduce partisanship at every level of our state.
The buck does stop here. I was wrong and it was a very important wake up call. This will not happen again!