My initial reaction (and incidentally, you can find another column Lassiter wrote on the subject here, and columnist Fred Snowflack’s spot-on pre-decision take on the Supreme Court case here) a judgmental snicker. Then I made a donation. SO should you. Here’s why:
4. WOMEN ALWAYS TAKE THE FALL I won’t portray Bridget Kelly as some feminist icon, but let’s be real: her treatment by the Governor reeks of misogyny. In that $1,000,000 taxpayer-funded report Chris Christie commissioned (ostensibly to self-exonerate) the Gov blamed Bridgegate on Kelly, his “emotional” and “erratic” former deputy chief-of-staff. Emotional, it was suggested, for being dumped by Bill Stepien, Christie’s two-time campaign manager (and later Donald Trump’s political adviser). Stepien and Kelly were promptly booted from Team Christie when Bridgegate came to light.
For his part, Stepien was promptly hired by a political action committee, “because of his political astuteness, his ability to analyze races and his ability to win campaigns,” his new boss said at the time. Thanks to Christie’s public, professional lynching of Bridget Kelly (with comments like ‘events in her personal life may have had some bearing on her subjective motivations and state of mind’) Bridget Kelly remains, it would appear, unemployable.
Coincidentally, Chris Christie also has a daughter named Bridget. Here’s hoping when she reaches Bridget Kelly’s age, this brand of sexist scapegoating will be a relic.
3. SHE HAS FOUR CHILDREN By letting Bridget Kelly twist in the wind on his behalf, Chris Christie deprived her of the means to support herself (and her four children.) It’s one thing to be ruthless to people your own size, but by destroying a subordinate in this manner, Chris Christie profoundly impacted Bridget Kelly’s four kids as well. So what’s an unemployable single mom with four kids and mounting legal bills to do? She swallowed her pride and embraced a thoroughly modern solution: an online legal defense fund.
2. YOU OWE HER Admit it, regardless of political persuasion, you’ve enjoyed the salacious, operatic quality of the Bridgegate saga. It has certainly been riveting theater. If you’re a democrat who feasted on this story, you owe her. If you’re a journalist whose job got a whole lot juicer with this scandal, you owe her. And most especially, if your name is Scott Walker or Jeb Bush you most definitely owe her. Good theater isn’t cheap and pitching in keeps the show going.