Time for Team Clinton to invade NJ

It's time for Team Clinton to get busy in the Garden State. There are surely Democrats somewhere who have been nudged, pushed, barked at or bullied by someone in the Christie administration, or at least that's the way they might remember it. The looming threat to a Hillary Clinton candidacy — the New Jersey governor's status as the nation's "hottest" politician — is on ice for now, but he could coming roaring back.

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And it was well-timed. Hitting bookshelves this week is former Defense Secretary Robert Gates's memoir, which includes the worst kept secret that Clinton backed off the Iraq surge in anticipation of a campaign against then then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) who, unlike Clinton, had opposed the Iraq War. That would surely have become a second-day story if it weren't for the explosive revelation found in emails between Christie staffers over how to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., by tying up the busiest traffic bridge in the world.

With trademark rudeness, Christie had ripped the very suggestion the "traffic study" that paralyzed drivers for days last September was fake and politically motivated. Even in his two-hour press conference to answer questions, he still couldn't bring himself to concede the whole thing, which the head of the Port Authority still knows nothing about — was a hoax.

"There still may have been a traffic study that now has political overtones to it," Christie said, fortunate that not one reporter laughed out loud.

The question of whether there was a traffic study matters little. Christie's entire future in politics hinges on whether he was aware of the actions of his staff, study or no study. Unless and until that is revealed, he can count on the Clintons and their fellow Democrats to keep burning up the phone lines in New Jersey.

WILL THE GATES MEMOIR HURT HILLARY CLINTON IN 2016? AskAB returns Tuesday, Jan. 14. Please join my weekly video Q&A by sending your questions and comments to askab@thehill.com. Thank you.