Politics at its dirtiest

The scandal over closure of two lanes of the George Washington Bridge shows politics at its dirtiest.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie admitted in a news conference Thursday morning that an aide and a political ally conspired to block access to the bridge in September as an act of political retribution.

The mayor of Ft. Lee, N.J., chose not to endorse Christie for re-election as governor last fall – and paid the price through a closure of access lanes to the vital artery to New York City from New Jersey. Two access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were shut down in September, causing a momentous traffic snarl.

Those Christie allies responsible are now without jobs and facing possible criminal indictments for deliberately shutting down lanes to the bridge in Ft. Lee.

Christie, a leading contender for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, denied all knowledge of the plot and fired the people involved Thursday. In a two-hour press conference, Christie described the acts as “stupid.”

Indeed, those acts were stupid. And they open Christie up to charges that his brash style is really bullying.

Christie (and maybe Jeb Bush) are the only moderate voices as potential candidates for the GOP nomination for president in 2016.

Christie was criticized for praising President Obama for the federal response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. In politics, genuine appreciation for someone in the opposition party can be a death knell.

The New Jersey governor had apparently survived those kind words for Obama and was leading most GOP polls for the 2016 presidential election. It will be interesting to see if Christie can bounce back from this scandal.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.