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Christie avoids mention of scandals in his 2014 inauguration speech

Chris Christie's popularity is falling faster than Lance Armstrong on steroids
Chris Christie's popularity is falling faster than Lance Armstrong on steroids
Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been embroiled in one scandal after another for over a month, like alligators bobbing to the surface faster than he can drain the swamp.

But on Tuesday, Christie, the best of the GOP 2016 presidential hopefuls, simply ignored it all in his 2014 inauguration speech.

Why use the time to explain all the shameful accusations swirling around him, when he could shine the spotlight on his magnanimous and benevolent ambitions?

“It was a mix of bromides, cliches, political red meat and Christie’s characteristic self-absorption, with the use of the first-person pronoun nearly 20 times by my count. And this is a period of intended new humility for the White House wannabe,” wrote James Warren in the New York Daily News.

Humility isn’t a word that many people associate with the tough-guy image Christie embodies, but the word “bully” has surfaced repeatedly in describing Christie’s brand of New Jersey politics.

However, Christie’s press conference denial of knowledge about lane closures on the George Washington Bridge and his insistence, “I’m not a bully,” didn’t jive with past examples of retribution and gotta-be-my-way behavior.

Within weeks, Christie was nailed again with public accusations regarding the governor’s potential misappropriation of Hurricane Sandy Relief funds, when he bypassed a cheaper ad campaign in favor of one that featured Christie and his family in the run up to his re-election, which cost $4.5 million.

Moreover, the latest alligator to surface in Christie’s swamp of deep-water troubles came in the form of Hoboken Mayor and mild-mannered former stay-at-home mom Dawn Zimmer.

Zimmer, riding the wave of confrontations against Christie, recently went public with alleged quid pro quo attempts made last May reportedly on behalf of the governor for her support of a Rockefeller commercial enterprise in Hoboken, in exchange for Sandy funding.

Zimmer kept a journal that contained statements of verbal exchanges with New Jersey politicians, including Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who implied that Christie was aware of their exploits to get her support for the commercial deal.

The mayor turned the journal over to federal investigators and vowed full cooperation.

Nonetheless, it quickly became a she said-she said story, as Guadagno came out publically this week to deny Zimmer’s version of what happened in an exchange between the two in a ShopRite parking lot months ago.

"Any suggestion, any suggestion that Sandy funds that were tied to the approval of any project in New Jersey is completely false," said Guadagno. "Standing in Union Beach, as we are today, with some of the mayors whose towns were devastated by Sandy, and also being a Sandy victim myself, makes the mayor's allegations particularly offensive to me."

When asked about Guadagno’s “offensive to me” remark by Anderson Cooper on his show Tuesday, Zimmer said, “she’s offended? I’m offended,” but it came as no surprise to her, because Guadagno reportedly said she would deny it if Zimmer told anyone about their conversation.

Zimmer’s formal response to Guadagno as published in ABC Local:

“I am genuinely disappointed that Lieutenant Governor Guadagno has lived up to her promise that she would deny linking Hoboken's application for Sandy hazard mitigation funding with expediting a private development project," said Zimmer.

When critics ask why it took Zimmer so long to come forward with the bribery accusation, she simply says, “I was afraid.” She was afraid that her town, which was 80 percent submerged by Sandy, wouldn’t get the relief funds needed to recover if she didn’t play political ball New Jersey style.

To the chagrin of GOP Republicans, Christie, once their best hope for a presidential bid in 2016, is falling in popularity faster than Lance Armstrong on steroids.