Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

What Were They/He Thinking

AP Photo / Mel Evans

This part isn't conclusive certainly. But who's this hung up or aware of or focused on stuff Wildstein did in High School? There's a level of anger and personal emotional involvement in this memo that points to the guy at the top.

Perhaps one staffer dashed it off. But I think Christie had to be involved saying, yeah, great idea. Let's do it.

More ominously for Christie's future, the fact that this comical letter got out suggests there's no one in or left in Christie's inner circle able to stand up to him and say, "No. That's a really bad idea. We can't do that."

Here's a note from a seasoned Republican political hand I got this morning ...

Just read your comments about the CC screed-email on Wildstein. Two quick thoughts: first quite obviously nobody had the juice with CC to tell him some of its contents were silly and/or juvenile like the high school stuff. It looks like he wrote it himself when he was furious and it was sent out without any review or consideration by his Inner Circle advisers who might have steered him away from such an embarrassing product. More broadly it's never a good sign when the Principal wants to do something stupid or harmful and there's no one in the Inner Circle with the judgment and standing with the P to steer them away or just say no.

It's not just Comms people. It's the whole dynamic of his most senior, most trusted staff (minus Stepien who was kicked out). Every Big Time Principal needs somebody with the trust and standing to say NO or that's a bad idea. Obviously CC has nobody who serves that role for him and today he pays the price for it.

This goes back to what I wrote last night just as this email was appearing. To have the slightest hope of building and sustaining a presidential campaign, Christie needs to convince a big cadre of people that he's viable and that something crazy or reckless or (politically dangerous) isn't going to happen.

These kinds of antics make that so much harder.

About The Author


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.