ICGB   70-246  , 220-801   N10-006   70-461   VCP550   642-999   CISM   200-125  , CISM   70-177  , 200-120   300-320   1Z0-144   JK0-022   300-209   200-355   NSE4   1Y0-201   300-206  , 2V0-620   70-412   MB2-707   300-208  , 1Z0-060   PEGACPBA71V1   LX0-103   000-105   300-209   000-080   1Y0-201   642-732   70-177   70-410   74-678   101-400   MB2-707   MB5-705   500-260   1Z0-051   700-501   MB2-704   70-412  , 70-177   300-209   070-461   2V0-621D   3002   200-125  , CISM   70-410   810-403   220-901   300-115   350-018   000-104   1Z0-803   OG0-091   M70-101  , 200-355   74-678   70-461   210-065  , 2V0-621   200-125  , CAP  , CAS-002   200-310   N10-006   100-101   70-483   MB6-703  , CISSP   1z0-808   300-115   000-089  , 070-461   70-980   70-412   642-732   CAS-002   70-463   350-018   220-801   M70-101   CCA-500   70-461  , MB6-703   102-400   HP0-S42   102-400   74-678   640-911   210-260   SY0-401   350-080   70-243   70-980  ,

Episode 150, with guests Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker and Kate Zernike of the New York Times

Ryan Lizza and Kate Zernike are our guests this week.
Guest host this week: Jeff Smith, New School professor and former Missouri State Senator
Show produced by Katherine Caperton.
Original Air Date: May 10, 2014 on SiriusXM “POTUS” Channel 124.
PoliOptics airs on POTUS on Saturdays at 8 am & 6 pm, Sundays at 4 am & 5 pm and Mondays at 2 am.
Follow us on Twitter @Polioptics.
Listen to the show by clicking on the bar above.
Show also available for download on Apple iTunes and other streaming services.

I’m Jeff Smith – urban policy professor at The New School, ex- Missouri state senator, and former federal prosecutorial target – sitting in for Josh King this week as we analyze the trials and tribulations of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with two of the nation’s top Christie-ologists: the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, and the New York Times’ Kate Zernike.

Don’t take my word for it; read their work for yourself. Here’s Ryan’s recent tour de force on the political milieu that nurtured Christie’s rise, in which he gets one Christie intimate after another to say things – on the record! – that no one had previously elicited. And Kate was one of the first reporters to grasp the potential explosiveness of the George Washington Bridge lane closings last fall, as you can see if you dig into her archived stories on Christie and other Jersey political figures.

Since “Bridgegate” broke, I’ve argued – contra some of the nation’s leading pundits (see here, here, and here) – that Christie’s real problem was legal, not political, and that he would ultimately be brought down not by Bridgegate itself but by an unrelated investigation stemming from it in the same way that Monica Lewinsky had nothing to do with an ill-fated Arkansas land deal called Whitewater. Federal prosecutorial tentacles would make an octopus envious, and the fear of prison can cause the most loyal friend to flip. (Trust me, I know.) And so despite two marathon press conferences, an exculpatory 360-page report produced after an internal investigation by Christie’s lawyer Randy Mastro and beheadings for much of his inner circle, I’ve argued that Christie is in far worse shape than he was in when the scandal first broke.

***

Years may elapse between the time federal agencies open a probe and a decision to bring charges. The recent lull in the Christie case (briefly interrupted last Tuesday afternoon by a New Jersey state legislature investigative committee hearing) may be just an illusion – a glassy ocean surface with vicious activity occurring in the depths. While a federal target like Chris Christie is traipsing around with billionaires in Las Vegas and meeting prospective presidential primary voters in Iowa and South Carolina, the gears of justice continue grinding away. For federal prosecutors focused on public corruption, the bigger the name, the larger the scalp; when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And what could be sweeter than bringing down a top-tier presidential candidate who once made his name prosecuting public corruption as a U.S. attorney?

Christie’s continuing travel and exceptional fundraising as Republican Governors Association chair and likely presidential candidate is aimed in large part at combating the impression of a weakening governor. But given the length, breadth and opacity of federal investigations, this recalls a surfer in the eye of the hurricane exhorting his pals, “Rain’s stopped – surf’s up!” Perhaps there’s even a whiff of denial on Christie’s part: If I just pretend that everything’s back to normal, then maybe this will all fade away. Indeed, even on the day he left for prison, former IL Governor Rod Blagojevich appeared to remain in denial.

So, enjoy our fascinating conversation with Ryan and Kate, who have covered Bridgegate and its ancillary stories as tenaciously as Chris Christie once pursued federal targets of his own. Other than MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, no national reporter can better explain the ins and outs of Christie’s complicated past – and his even messier future. And tweet your thoughts to us @JeffSmithMO, @KZernike, @RyanLizza, and @Polioptics.

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