Kevin Drum at Mother Jones has noticed the obvious — The NY Times is devoting enormous resources to going after Chris Christie.

The Times has found its mark, and now just needs actual news and actual wrongdoing to take him out. As Drum describes it, No Smoking Guns Yet, But the Noose Is Tightening Around Chris Christie:

The New York Times is pretty clearly expending a lot of resources on the various Chris Christie scandals. So far they haven’t produced any smoking guns, but they’re sure digging up some stuff that doesn’t look good for Team Christie.

First up is a look at the Christie political team, which was apparently obsessed with winning votes in Democratic-leaning towns. This wasn’t because the votes themselves were all that critical to Christie’s 2012 reelection campaign, but because winning in these places “would validate the governor’s argument that he would be the most broadly appealing Republican choice for president in 2016” ….

After describing a couple of Times pieces that show no direct evidence of wrongdoing, just a tough politician, Drum concludes:

It’s pretty obvious that stories like these are going to keep dripping out. The Times has several reporters assigned to bird dog this story, and once the New Jersey legislature starts subpoenaing people, there’s going to be continuing grist for an endless succession of lurid headlines. By themselves, neither of these stories moves the bar much. But as a harbinger of things to come, they’re pretty ominous for Christie. Buckle up.

For all the claims that the influence of The Times, WaPo and other legacy media has waned, that may be true at a macro level. But when The Times or WaPo want to get a politician, almost always a Republican, they have the resources and talent to get the job done.

It’s the sort of vetting that normally takes place during a campaign, but Bridgegate made it just too irresistable to wait.

I wouldn’t take this as a bad thing. If Christie, or any other Republican, has campaign killing problems, better to find out now. This vetting may make Christie a stronger candidate (putting aside his policy positions and campaign embrace of Obama) because there will be a level of confidence that no scandals are left in the closet.

I wonder if Chris Chrisie ever owned a rock….

Update: There’s vetting, and then there’s a vendetta. It appears the NY Times may have the latter, as an article released this afternoon really stretches to find a Christie inconsistency:

In a letter released by his lawyer, the official, David Wildstein, a high school friend of Mr. Christie’s who was appointed with the governor’s blessing at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, described the order to close the lanes as “the Christie administration’s order” and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago.

I’ve noticed this fromt the Times before — they confuse knowing about the lane closures as opposed to knowing that his office ordered the closure as a vendetta. The letter the time cites says nothing about Christie knowing his office ordered the closure.