Amid a Drudge Report storyboard headlining the scandalous news alleging Governor Chris Christie's staff actually plotted crippling lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, founder Matt Drudge made no personal comment until Jan. 9, 2014. Then, a day after the big story involving Governor Chris Christie's staff broke, on his personal Twitter page, Matt quipped, "Will Obama return the favor and give Christie a rescue?"
Drudge has provided so many links to stories of Christie's "Bridge-gate" that an arch enemy who was once forced to apologize to him, Media Matters, has gone after him again. Unlike last time, this time Media Matters isn't directly accusing Drudge of anything Drudge never did; instead, one of the self-described "Media Matters' guys" is trying to incite the wrath of conservatives against Matt. He tweeted that conservatives should target the Drudge Report for "your rage" over "Christie kill."
Drudge's query was accompanied with an image of President Barack Obama and Christie; the two were apparently snapped while in deep conversation about their assessment of the disaster wrought by Hurricane Sandy. It's likely Drudge is harkening back to when conservative critics found fault with Governor Christie for appearing to "cozy up" with the the president when Obama visited the New Jersey Shore to reassure Christie government would be there to help rebuilding.
At that time, Christie's displays of unrestrained gratitude towards Obama were said to have helped boost Obama during what had been considered a cliffhanger of a presidential election. After the president's visit, Christie had nothing but effusive praise for Obama. Many Republicans felt Christie had tossed Obama a positive wild card that certainly infused Obama's campaign with great press as well as frustrating the Romney campaign.
Fast forward to 2014, and to some, it appears Christie may have "rescued" Obama from a "complete meltdown." As the president's polls have dipped to new lows, hitting 39 percent, the intense press focus on Christie can't help but dilute news reports of and distract the public from Obama to Christie. Instead of Obamacare problems, former US defense secretary Robert Gates' withering expose of the political motives of Obama's military decisions plus continuing NSA and IRS scandals, Christie's problems are dominating banner headlines. Arguably, if Obama dreaded returning to the White House, the current focus on Christie certainly makes it much easier.
A former democratic candidate for governor, Barbara Buono, is already calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether public officials responsible for closed lanes to the bridge are liable for criminal acts. If U.S. District Attorney Eric Holder declines to get involved, perhaps Matt Drudge and many others would consider Holder's inaction a signal that Obama is, indeed, returning the favor, saving Christie. Until and if that occurs, it appears any favor between Obama and Christie -- puts Obama on the receiving not the giving end.
In the meantime, The Drudge Report has added a rarity; Matt is polling public opinion of Christie. At the time this report was published, Christie's standing in the poll was "poor."
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