Friday, August 27, 2010

Will This Man Please (Still) Run for President? (Updated)

Republican Governor Chris Christie, responding to a clerical error that cost the State of New Jersey $400 million in federal education aid:


The real threat to President Obama in 2012 (other than himself, of course) isn't Sarah Palin, or Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich. It's this guy, if he decides to run.

What Christie describes is similar to one of the many rounds my wife had with the immigration bureaucracy before we were married. Of the myriad and utterly confusing forms that would allow her to move from student status to working status, her extremely smart and well-informed potential employer made an honest mistake and missed one of them in the final application. But rather than getting a phone call or a letter requesting the missing form so the application could be processed, the entire thing was simply rejected nine months later, on the grounds that one of the required forms hadn't been submitted, forcing the entire process to begin again from scratch.

I remember the amount of paperwork and supporting documentation being somewhat similar to what Christie placed on that podium as well, and I'm only half-joking when I say that.

UPDATE: This certainly puts a new spin on things:
Gov. Chris Christie, reacting swiftly to a brewing crisis over a failed federal grant application, has fired Department of Education Commissioner Bret Schundler.

Schundler was let go by Christie this morning following the release of a video by the federal Department of Education that contradicted Schundler’s assertion that he provided federal Race to the Top grant application reviewers with correct state aid numbers after an error in the documents was revealed.

“I was extremely disappointed to learn that the videotape of the Race to the Top presentation was not consistent with the information provided to me by the New Jersey Department of Education and which I then conveyed to the people of New Jersey. As a result, I ordered an end to Bret Schundler’s service as New Jersey’s Education Commissioner and as a member of my administration,” Christie said in a statement issued at 12:30 p.m. today.
And this adds yet another spin:
Ousted New Jersey Education Commissioner Bret Schundler told the Newark Star Ledger he asked Gov. Chris Christie (R) to be fired rather than resign, so he could receive unemployment benefits.

Said Schundler: “I asked if they would mind writing a termination letter, instead of a resignation letter, because I do have a mortgage to pay, and I do have a daughter who’s just started college. And I, frankly, will need the unemployment insurance benefits until I find another job… And they said fine. They said sure.”
Not a situation where anyone comes out looking spotless. It would be nice to go a whole week these days without having one of those.

Then again, if trusting the integrity of one of his own people, and then getting rid of that person immediately when he turns out to be a liar, even if he does do it in a way that allows the man to collect unemployment, turns out to be the worst "gaffe" Christie makes, he would still be a great improvement over what we have in Washington today.

(H/T: Hot Air)