Chris Christie spokersperson Michael Drewniak testified today in front of a New Jersey state legislative committee about the politically motivated, traffic-jam-inducing closure of entrance lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey last fall. Drewniak said that neither he nor Christie knew about the closures before or during their implementation, a claim which is neither surprising nor, at this point, suspicious. (A lawyer for a fired Port Authority official says "evidence exists" that Christie knew about the plot, but no such evidence has actually surfaced.) The actual highlight of the testimony, it seems, was Drewniak's effusive, poetic, and splendid use of language. To wit, from the New York Times writeup:
- He was "shocked and disoriented" when he found out that political concerns had motivated the lane closures.
- It was was a "reckless and perplexing episode."
- The closures were "strange, unnecessary, and idiotic."
- He was lied to about the situation by people in whom he "badly, regrettably, even naïvely" misplaced his trust.
- His meeting with Christie to discuss the issue was "emotional and unforgettable." (This last one was an indirect quote from the Times, so he may not have used those specific words—but clearly, he evoked their feeling via lyrical discourse.)
Aides and surrogates who speak in memorable, original phrases—as opposed to aides and surrogates who speak in the phony alien cadence of a flight attendant reading from The Big Book of Clichés—are an underexploited commodity in politics, no? (Well, hmm, maybe not always.)