The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

January 10, 2014

Fired Christie aide described as cheery but 'vindictive'

PHILADELPHIA — Just over a year ago, Bridget Anne Kelly was thanking her boss, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and fellow staffers via Twitter for making her 40th birthday “great.” On Thursday, the account had been deleted, and the nation watched Christie call her a liar, dub her behavior “stupid,” and announce on national television that he had fired her.

Kelly, the woman behind some of the emails in a plot to gridlock the George Washington Bridge, was described Thursday by some as a cheery, intelligent mother of four — but with a “vindictive” side.

“She’s a 4-foot-9 perfectly pleasant soccer mom, but she could be a 6-foot-10 linebacker if she needed to,” said a Republican operative with knowledge of the governor’s inner circle, who did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation. “If you crossed her, she could be vindictive.”

As news broke Wednesday that she had typed the now-infamous “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” friends and colleagues asked themselves whether the Ramsey, N.J., resident was a sacrificial lamb or had a dark side.

On Thursday, before a swarm of news cameras, Christie announced Kelly’s firing.

Christie said that as a deputy chief of staff, Kelly did not have the authority to order lane closures at the bridge. “And so, if she acted in a manner which exceeded her authority, which seems, you know, to be a possibility, you know, that’s what she did.”

He also said he had instructed his former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, to withdraw from consideration for state party chairman and to cease consultant work with the Republican Governors Association, which Christie heads.

“This is a Bridget-and-Bill thing,” the operative said. “They might have cooked it up in a Dunkin’ Donuts in Trenton or at a nice little dinner in Yardley, Pa.”

Text Only
National News
  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • Courthouse violence unpredictable despite security

    When Utah's new federal courthouse opened last week, it came with security improvements that are becoming standard around the country: separate entrances and elevators for judges, defendants and the public; bullet-resistant glass and paneling; and vehicle barricades to keep car bombs at bay.

    Even the design of the courtrooms, with plenty of sunlight and space, can help calm witnesses or defendants in high-stress cases, some judges believe.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:

    April 22, 2014

  • Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    A 16-year-old boy scrambled over an airport fence, crossed a tarmac and climbed into a jetliner's wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii — a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation's airline fleet.

    The boy, who lives in Santa Clara, Calif., hopped out of the wheel well of a Boeing 767 on the Maui airport tarmac Sunday. Authorities found the high school student wandering the airport grounds with no identification. He was questioned by the FBI and taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was found to be unharmed.

    April 21, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 21, 2014

  • Court to hear dispute over Internet TV broadcasts

    Thirty years after failing to convince the Supreme Court of the threat posed by home video recordings, big media companies are back and now trying to rein in another technological innovation they say threatens their financial well-being.

    The battle has moved out of viewers' living rooms, where Americans once marveled at their ability to pop a cassette into a recorder and capture their favorite programs or the sporting event they wouldn't be home to see.

    April 21, 2014

  • USDA establishes rural business investment program

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday a new $150 million program designed to provide investment capital to help small agriculture-related business in rural areas with cash needed to expand.

    Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced in Cedar Rapids the formation of the first Rural Business Investment Company, a for-profit firm licensed by the USDA to invest in businesses that otherwise might not have the capital to increase business opportunities.

    April 21, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 21, 2014

AP Video