Who is the big winner in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's traffic jam?
Hillary Clinton, of course.
While the nation's media totally turned its attention to the embattled New Jersey governor and the traffic disaster at the George Washington Bridge, Hillary Clinton skated.
Before the meltdown in New Jersey over the vindictive shutdown of lanes onto the bridge by the Christie administration, plotted to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., Christie had been riding high in the polls.
He was not only leading all other Republicans in the presidential polls, he was tied with heavily favored Democrat Hillary Clinton, the darling of the liberal establishment media.
Then the story broke in former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' book "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War" that Hillary Clinton, as a presidential candidate running against fellow U.S. Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, changed her position on President George Bush's 20,000-troop surge in Iraq to appease liberals before the Iowa caucuses. Clinton had previously voted in favor of Bush's resolution of going to war with Iraq.
Gates, in his soon to be published book, wrote of a White House meeting with President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton that disturbed him.
"Hillary told the president that her opposition to the surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. ... The president conceded vaguely that (his) opposition to the Iraq surge had been political.
What saddened Gates, and what should be of concern to all Americans, is the image of two leading American politicians using the war, where many young Americans were being killed and maimed, as a political football to get a leg up on winning the presidency.
And the damning revelation is not coming from some right-wing nutjob, but from Gates, a distinguished public servant who was not only the lone Republican holdover by Obama from the Bush administration, but who worked for eight presidents, was director of the CIA, and holds a doctorate in Russian and Soviet history.
Ordinarily, Clinton's remarks, which have not been refuted either by her or the president, would have made for a big story, coming on the heels of criticism for her deception and mishandling of the killings of four Americans at the consulate in Benghazi when she was secretary of state.
This was followed by her cold and indifferent remarks about those deaths before a congressional committee at which she famously said, "What difference at this point does it make" whether the men killed were victims of a planned terrorist attack or a spontaneous demonstration fueled by an anti-Islamist video.
But the liberal cheerleaders of the national press corps were not very much interested in the Clinton story, and no effort has been made to catch up and grill the elusive former first lady. She is, after all, such a favorite of the left-wing media that going after her would be like going after Madonna -- the original one.
No sooner did the Chris Christie traffic-jam story break than the media said, "Hillary who?" Reporters from everywhere descended on the New Jersey governor so fast that you might have thought he had been caught lying about Benghazi.
The Clinton story simply disappeared, lost under the avalanche of Christie coverage.
Think what you will about Christie and the personal role he may or may not have played in the shutting down of those lanes. When the story broke, he took action right away.
Unlike most politicians, Christie at least had the courage to stand up in front of the press for almost two hours and answer any and all questions about the revenge traffic jam, instead of hiding behind press releases or staffers. He acted. Even Christie's critics, of which there are many, were impressed with that.
And there is something refreshing for the public to see a politician humble himself in front of the world the way Christie humbled himself. Obama should try it. It would be more therapeutic than golf.
But it is almost impossible to imagine Obama or Clinton meeting the press in such a fashion to be grilled for two hours about Benghazi, for instance, or about anything else that has taken place in Obama's failed, scandal-ridden, miserable presidency.
Reporters were tough on Christie, a Republican, as they should have been. But when it comes to Obama or Clinton, they act like star-struck adolescents seeking autographs.
Peter Lucas' political column appears Tuesday and Friday. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.