What Chris Christie now wishes he’d said about David Wildstein


But on the upside, nice tie! (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

On Jan. 9, when he apologized for not knowing anything about the George Washington Bridge-closing Traffic Study That Became A Vendetta, Chris Christie had the following to say about David Wildstein, the Port Authority official who oversaw the closing of those fatal lanes.

“It is true that I met David in 1977 in high school. He’s a year older than me. David and I were not friends in high school. We were not even acquaintances in high school… We didn’t travel in the same circles in high school. You know, I was the class president and athlete. I don’t know what David was doing during that period of time. … So I want to clear that up.”

Now that David Wildstein is claiming, according to a letter from his lawyer, that “evidence exists” Christie knew about the decision to close the bridge, I bet he wishes he had said something different.

Something like…

“If I didn’t exchange any words with David in high school or travel in his circles, it was because – well, to be perfectly honest with you, I found him intimidating. I was — I guess you could say I was in awe of the guy. And who wouldn’t be in awe of him? I might have been class president and athlete. David was so cool he didn’t NEED to be either of those things.

“Sometimes, after getting off the field, I would glance over at him to see if he had noticed me scoring. That-was-for-you-David, I would mouth. He never even looked up.

“For years there were only two big unattainable figures who loomed over my life: Bruce Springsteen and David Wildstein. His coolness level? Somewhere between Batman… and God.

“If I wasn’t friends with David Wildstein in high school, it was because I was too timid to approach him.

“In my eyes, David Wildstein was a golden god. I was the Gene to his Phineas. I was the Harry Potter to his Neville, in the sense that Neville turned out to be kind of amazing and has gotten better and better looking with the passage of time, whereas Harry is just an athlete with bad hair who turned out to be a lot shorter than anyone was hoping.

“Different circles, sure, but what about the countless hours I spent doodling his name in my notebooks – not in a romantic way, mind you. I just – I think, on some level, I wanted to BE David Wildstein. On every level.

“I had a picture of David Wildstein in my locker.

“I only wish I’d gotten to know him better back then because David Wildstein is just such an incredible, wonderful man. Beautiful, yeah, but more than that. He’s the kind of guy you can trust with your life. If I had a secret involving a bridge – and I don’t – I know who I would tell, and who would take it with him to the grave. To the grave, David.

“Because that’s the kind of guy David Wildstein is.

“And to reiterate, he was THE MAN in high school.”

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.
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Alexandra Petri | January 31