One of the things lost in all of this rapidly developing story about Chris Christie’s hijacking of the Race to the Top application process that led to his own error costing NJ $400 million in education funding – and that is this is another in a long line of Christie not taking responsibility for his own actions. Repeatedly, his inability to own up to his actions, comments and mistakes reek not only of arrogance but also of a larger underlying character flaw that has already hurt a number of people – and will now be hurting NJ’s children.
Back during the Governor campaign, it was discovered that Christie drove the wrong way down a one way street and hit a biker. Instead of owning up to his reckless behavior, Christie pulled rank and identified himself as a US Attorney to get out of a ticket. What’s worse – he blamed the biker for hitting him and then lied about whether there was a lawsuit filed.
Regardless of his behavior or actions, this is a longstanding pattern. When it uncovered that he was billing fancy hotels to his office, having them approved by the same people he was traveling with, he blamed those for daring to question his overbilling of extravagant expenses. When he was caught discussing his ambitions for Governor with Karl Rove while still US Attorney – a potential violation of the Hatch Act – he blamed those who uncovered this. When one of his top aides tried to bribe Richard Merkt out of the race, that was denied and blamed on Merkt.
When Christie’s stories about how he got onto and off the US Attorney firing list contradicted each other, he didn’t take responsibility for that either. When former Governor Corzine hit Christie with an ad during the campaign that (rightfully) pointed out Christie’s position on women’s healthcare, Christie blamed Corzine – and then went ahead and did exactly what Corzine warned that he would do.
This latest “mistake” – which an investigation will uncover whether or not was a willful attempt by a clearly spiteful man to throw the process – is one of the bigger ones in terms of the wide ranging impact. But it will be far from the last time in the “$400 million man’s” term as Governor where he will do something hastily, stubborn and pigheaded only to have it come back and bite everyone else in the ass as he deflects blame from himself as quickly as he caused whatever issue it is that he’s blaming everyone else for.