Rich Galen

Christie may not have had a political choice in statement, but Great Leader narratives do not normally revolve around being misled by staff.

To which I responded:

... nor do they revolve around closing a ramp to Ft .Lee, NJ

To which Walter responded:

Wasn't the line from the Nixon years: "It's not the crime, it's the lane closures."

To which I responded:

Damn you, Shapiro! I never thought you'd remember that.

This is how the grownups spend their afternoons.

I don't know Governor Christie. I don't know if I would support him for President if he chose to run. And I don't know if he would end up as the nominee.

I do know that this is January 2014 about two years, 10 months from election day 2016.

I do not believe that Chris Christie's political future is hanging in the balance as the projectile sweat of the national press corps would have us believe.

New Topic

House Republicans are trying to deal with extending benefits for those long-term unemployed whose benefits ran out at the end of the year.

I am not an economist and I have no idea whether - as a purely economic, not a political nor ideological issue - this is a good idea.

The current thinking, as I understand it, is the House GOP will vote for the extension if there are budget reductions to pay the $6.4 billion tab.

I am also led to believe that the House GOP leadership wants the House Democrats to come up with the budget cuts - known as offsets.

If Republicans in Congress want to show the electorate they are capable of governing and thus should be in control of the House and the Senate, they should demonstrate that this week by bringing a complete package to the House floor: The benefit extension and the cuts to pay for it.

The cost of extending the benefits is about six-tenths of one percent of the total federal budget.

House GOP staffers can find 0.6% over lunch in the Longworth Cafeteria.

They should do that and the GOP majority in the House should force Democrats to vote on a full package.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at