Chris Christie's Tony Soprano problem

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has a Tony Soprano problem that could doom his potential presidential candidacy if he does not handle the crisis promptly and well.

There are only two possible outcomes to the scandal surrounding the actions of the Christie administration over a plot — which may well violate state and federal law — to jam up the George Washington Bridge as political retribution against a New Jersey mayor who refused to endorse Christie's reelection.

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Possible outcome 1: Christie runs a Soprano-style government that breaks the kneecaps of political opponents and is willing to break the kneecaps of his constituents if that is the best way to break the kneecaps of political opponents. In this scenario, Christie was not aware of or involved in the Tony Soprano tactics, and Christie was merely Soprano's boss, which makes him look like an incompetent manager who hires Soprano-style aides.

Possible outcome 2:  Christie himself was the Tony Soprano of New Jersey politics who either ordered, knew about or covered up brass-knuckle tactics aiming to metaphorically break the legs of political opponents, even if that required breaking the legs of his constituents.

Heads, Christie loses; tails, Christie loses.

The only question is whether the wound is fatal to a Christie presidential campaign in 2016. Let's be clear. First, because the bridge that was the scene of the crime takes commuters between two states, New York and New Jersey, this goon-like behavior should be investigated by state and federal authorities and may well violate both state and federal law.

Second school students who were driven across the bridge were among those who had their legs metaphorically broken. Third, if there were medical patients or those suffering medical emergencies who were trapped by the traffic gridlock caused by this brass-knuckled abuse, the legal and political consequences could be extreme indeed.

Get ready for legal and legislative investigations at the state and federal level. This scandal may soon resemble Watergate. What did Christie know, and when did he know it? Whatever the answer, the only question today is whether this Soprano-like scandal is grievously wounding or politically fatal to Christie for president in 2016.