Is there a difference when President Obama denies knowledge of any scandals in his administration versus when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie does the same thing?
Democrat Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz seems to think so.
Christie, a Republican, is engulfed in a scandal about the shutting down of three lanes of the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J., in September, which caused a huge traffic jam. In addition to state investigations, a federal investigation was immediately launched.
During an extended press conference on Thursday, Christie apologized for what happened, announced that he had fired at least one close aide, and took responsibility for the whole mess even though he claimed he had prior knowledge of the events in question.
In a CNN interview that took place Christie's press conference, Don Lemon (see embed above) asked the Congresswoman about her fellow Democrat Barack Obama who said he was unaware about the NSA spying, or about the Obamacare website, or that you couldn't keep your health plan or doctor. "What's the difference between Christie not knowing and the president not knowing?" Lemon wondered.
Lemon omitted mentioning, for example, the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal, the Benghazi terrorist attack (both of which resulted in American lives lost), or the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups or other political opponents of the administration that some have argued constituted voter suppression in the 2012 presidential election.
Wasserman Schultz, who initially appeared stunned that she would be on the receiving end of a tough question on CNN, responded that the president's lack of knowledge in the siutations Lemon cited revolved around "policy issues" while the Christie situation is "a scandal that leads right to his office."
In a related development, The Wall Street Journal called attention to the mainstream media's generally indifferent attitude toward the Obama scandals as opposed to the feeding frenzy now going on with Chris Christie's so-called Bridge-gate. Noting that Christie's "contrition contrasts so sharply with President Obama's handling of the tax agency's abuse of political opponents and his reluctance to fire anyone other than a military general for anything," the WSJ went out to say that …
"Yet compared to using the IRS against political opponents during an election campaign, closing traffic lanes for four days is jaywalking. We raise this mostly because our media friends have been complicit in dismissing the IRS abuses, and for that matter every other legal abuse during the Obama years. The exception is the Edward Snowden theft of National Security Agency documents, which so far have exposed not a single example of law-breaking."
[cartoon by A.F. Branco]
As a digression from the Chris Christie Bridge-gate scandal, you might remember that Boardwalk Empire season 3 had a somewhat similar, or not, key plot element in which Nucky Thompson's bootlegging rivals blocked a road between Atlantic City, N.J., and New York City.
[thumbnail image credit: Nightscream]