Mayor Sokolich, before being baited: Eventually, Mayor Sokolich was baited last night about being called “that little Serbian.” He tossed off a remark about one Christie aide who “deserves an ass-kicking.”
This gave one upright cable show the headlines it had been chasing:
Christie ex-aide “deserves an ass-kicking”On cable, exciting times!
Chris Hayes interviews Fort Lee’s Mayor Mark Sokolich about “Bridgegate.”
But before the baiting, when the mayor was good, we thought he was very good. Speaking to Chris Hayes, the mayor described his own nature:
SOKOLICH (1/8/14): Chris, if you know me for thirty seconds you know that there’s not an ounce of venom in my system. I don’t think—and I try to find the best in people.Good for the mayor! Later, Sokolich said that he isn’t rooting for Christie to be destroyed:
So I automatically, my own instincts automatically just dismissed the prospect that this is political retribution because, think about it. Who would close down lanes to the busiest bridge in the world to get to me?
First of all, I never viewed myself as being that important. The governor himself said that I’m not on his radar nor am I in his rolodex. So I’m thinking to myself, “How could this possibly be. How could it possibly be?”
But now reading the emails and the text that we see today, it certainly is the case. And I’m embarrassed for those people.
SOKOLICH: I’m not here to speculate nor will I speculate. I will tell you though it’s gotten closer and closer as time transpires. I’m not rooting for an email to surface that specifically and expressly has the governor expressly authorizing this retribution. I’m not! Because it’s not my nature. But I’ll tell you the credibility level is getting reduced and reduced and reduced as this story continues to move on.Good for the mayor! Earlier, speaking with Wolf Blitzer, he had said much the same thing about the governor’s aides:
BLITZER (1/8/14): As far as you know, is there a criminal investigation under way by any local or state or federal authority?Sokolich isn’t rooting for the people involved to suffer a demise.
SOKOLICH: I know that the independent investigator for the Port Authority is conducting an investigation. I know that the assembly is conducting an investigation. And I have to believe that now in light of what's transpired over the last 24 hours and now seeing these revelations in these e-mails, now that it's unconditionally confirmed that there's a level of intentionality that's involved, I've got to believe that there's going to be investigations to determine whether this rises to the level of criminality.
And I tell you, I'm not rooting for it. I'm not looking for people to suffer a demise by way of a criminal indictment. I want Fort Lee left alone. I want to guarantee this doesn't happen. You go do whatever you got to go do. And I got to tell you, reform has to be put into place to make sure that this doesn't happen to any other host community.
This is absolutely the lowest level of political venom you that could possibly even make up. It's a surreal experience at this point. I really got to tell you, I can't believe it. I still can't believe it.
The mayor provided us with a nice flashback last night. As we watched him with Hayes, before he was baited, we thought of Malala—Malala Yousafzai, and by extension of Dr. King, and also of Nelson Mandela.
“I’m not against anyone,” Malala very brilliantly said when she addressed the U.N. this summer. These are the people the world long remembers.
Watching cable, you will see very few people who possess that frame of mind.
Review and consider: If you still haven’t watched Malala’s United Nations address, we will once again recommend it. Just click here.
We were happy to see Malala’s outlook expressed by the Fort Lee mayor.