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Many years ago I worked with a talented political organizer who made a very strange prayer request. After one of our meetings he told me that he regularly prayed that God would give him the spirit of the aggressive and feared Republican political organizer Lee Atwater.
I thought that comment was strange, and I still do, yet it supports an observation made by a leading journalist last week about the thuggish bridge-closing affair that is dogging New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Commenting on the Christie scandal in which one of his staffers shut down several lanes of the George Washington Bridge to exact political revenge on the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing the governor in 2013, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan noted that young staffers lack wisdom and are often motivated by seeking the admiration of their political bosses.
Noonan, a former Reagan speechwriter, referenced the career of Lee Atwater as an illustration. Atwater, a kingpin in the Republican Party and chairman of George H.W. Bush’s successful 1988 presidential campaign, was a cunning campaign strategist known for dirty tricks.
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