Will the Chris Christie Bridge Story Have Legs in 2016?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Jan. 10 2014 11:28 AM

The “I Am Not a Bully” Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about Chris Christie's bridge closure scandal, compassionate conservatism 2.0, and the legal questions raised by a brain-dead pregnant woman.

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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss what the Fort Lee bridge closure scandal means for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's presidential hopes, how compassionate conservatism is making a comeback, and whether pregnancy trumps a "do not resuscitate" request.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:

  • Texts and emails suggest that Christie's aides ordered lanes on the George Washington Bridge closed to create traffic problems in Fort Lee and punish that town's mayor.
  • Christie claimed ignorance and apologized for almost two hours in a press conference Thursday.
  • A December New York Times article documented Christie's history of bullying.
  • John writes that Christie's response to this scandal will determine his political future.
  • Dave Weigel writes that conservatives are handling the Fort Lee scandal in three ways: gloating, pity, and pride.
  • Rep. Paul Ryan is working on an anti-poverty plan.
  • So is Marco Rubio.
  • Ross Douthat argues for "a conservatism of respect" (not compassion).
  • Rev. Jim Wallis and former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson have endorsed a bipartisan approach to fighting poverty.
  • "When you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he's probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small. But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor," Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich said.
  • The New York Times reported on Marlise Munoz's case. Texas is one of at least 31 states that restrict the ability to end life support for pregnant women.

Emily chatters about a study that finds looking at an ultrasound before having an abortion changes very few women's minds.

John chatters about a Gallup poll showing that record high numbers of Americans identify themselves as independents.

David chatters about a lawsuit the band Insane Clown Posse filed against the FBI, which has classified ICP fans as gang members.

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Rebecca Cohen.

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.

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