Borrowing a long-time favorite phrase of politicians who wish to take responsibility without actually taking responsibility --- one used infamously and repeatedly by Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal --- NJ Gov. Chris Christie (R) admitted that "mistakes were clearly made" in his State of the State addressed delivered Tuesday in Trenton.
The beleaguered Governor, however, did not identify who exactly made those "mistakes" in his ongoing "BridgeGate" scandal...
The last week has certainly tested this Administration. Mistakes were clearly made. And as a result, we let down the people we are entrusted to serve. I know our citizens deserve better. Much better.
I am the governor and I am ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch - both good and bad.
Without a doubt we will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries to ensure this breach of trust does not happen again.
But I also want to assure the people of New Jersey today that what has occurred does not define us or our state. This Administration and this Legislature will not allow the work that needs to be done to improve the people's lives in New Jersey to be delayed. I am the leader of this state and its people and I stand here today proud to be both. And always determined to do better.
Now I come before you once again to report on the state of our state.
The rest of Christie's address, according to the text released by his office just prior to the speech, did not address the still expanding, still unexplained, political retribution scandal carried out by a number of the Governor's top aides and appointees last year when several access lanes to the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee were shut down for five days in early September. The order for "traffic problems in Fort Lee" that led to the closures, was issued by Christie's Deputy Chief of Staff in mid-August.
Subpoenas to a number of those staffers and appointees, as well as state, federal and even criminal investigations, are still in process at this time. Christie's personal role in both the lane closures and the documented attempts by his Administration to hide the actions from the public, is also still unclear.