Chris Christie is a saint. At least I read that somewhere recently. Actually, the New Jersey governor is just another politician -- just one who is very, very good at what he does... most of the time. And nothing that Christie has done in his time on the public stage has been more brilliant than his embrace of President Obama, in a very pro-Obama state, on the eve of an election he was smart enough -- unlike the Karl Roves and Dick Morrises of his own party -- to see that Obama would certainly win. Since then, he's been laughing all the way to the Leno/Letterman bank of goodwill -- and his second term as governor is all but guaranteed.
But if you dig deeper, Christie is often just as unsavory as all the rest of our elected officials. Remember these things that were more or less swept under the rug when he was first elected in 2009? Today, arguably the second-most prestigious prizes in journalism, the George Polk Awards, were announced -- and one of the winners was the New York Times for exposing a scandal in New Jersey, an affair that reflects very badly on the Christie administration.
Basically, with New Jersey under pressure to reduce its prison population, the state has done so, in good measure, by shifting inmates to so-called "halfway houses" that are really just smaller-scale prisions. And these facilities, the Times discovered, are very poorly run. In addition to a ridiculous amount of escapes -- about one or two every day, on average -- the Times series found that "with little oversight, the state’s halfway houses have mutated into a shadow corrections network, where drugs, gang activity and violence, including sexual assaults, often go unchecked."