What Tom Ridge tells us about Chris Christie


If we learned anything during the Bush administration, we learned pattern.

How loyalty was rewarded over competence, how fact is shaped around a fixed policy when the truth lies somewhere else, how Bush made sure his friends got richer. It’s a pattern.

And so it is no surprise to many of us here – and most in the country by now-  that Tom Ridge now reveals the Bush administration tried to force him to raise the country’s terror alert level just in time for the 2004 Presidential election vote. Ridge, Bush’s first Secretary of Homeland Security, describes mounting tension in the White House as Attorney General John Ashcroft and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld pushed him to do what was clearly politically expedient for a President facing re-election.

Ridge withstood that pressure and did not raise our terrorist threat level. He refused to play politics with our national security. And in fact, the following month he resigned. In Christie, I think we have someone considerably more willing to cooperate.

This is the way George Bush behaved as President. How he led. With Karl Rove firmly in command of our his direction and strategy, too many national decisions were made with political self-preservation at the fore.

Ashcroft. Rove. Bush.

These are the names that emerge in a picture of how a smart but inexperienced Freeholder, who could not get re-elected, kept his federal job when less-cooperative US Attorneys did not.

What price did we pay for Christie’s loyalty to the Bush White House? What did Christie do for them, to keep his job? Or, is he such an unthinking partisan they didn’t even need to pressure him? How did Chris Christie get off the list?

George Bush used the Department of Justice – Christie’s workplace – to investigate hundreds of Democratic elected officials, at a rate of 7:1. They changed the electoral map, hauling in few of their own party. It’s the way these people operate. It makes a person wonder what Christie knew about the timing of the July political corruption sweep. Were events shaped to help his political future?

There’s a pattern.

Comments (4)

  1. Jeff Gardner

    How did Christie get off that list?


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