By Erin DrushelLast week it became apparent that aides to Republican Governor Chris Christie were the cause of a chaotic commuter nightmare where local lanes of the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey were closed in what is now being considered an act of “political retribution”. These revelations have called into question Christie’s involvement and how it will impact his likely 2016 presidential bid.
How the mighty have fallen.
Just over a year ago Christie was the centre of another media frenzy after Hurricane Sandy tore through the Eastern U.S., hitting New Jersey particularly hard. Christie was like a beacon of hope to his downtrodden constituents; the caring Governor.
At that time it seemed his biggest troubles were his own party admonishing him for being gracious to President Obama for his assistance following the storm. That and being picked on for his weight.
But now, the brownie points Christie earned nationally during the Hurricane Sandy crisis are being called into question. And with blood already in the water regarding the bridge lane closures, Christie will also undergo an audit to determine if the funding aid for Sandy was used appropriately.
As they say, it never rains but it pours.
With regard to the issue of “political retribution”, it’s difficult to imagine that Christie was involved with the decision to exact vengeance, particularly because of the way in which he fired his aide for her perceived involvement.
If he was involved, nationally shaming and firing people who likely have “the dirt” on you would be – in Christie’s own words – just as “stupid” as what his staff did. Crushing the ambitious careers of those you put in places of power – and then expecting them to protect you – would be delusional.
So, with these revelations and unanswered questions, is Chris Christie still worth the look should he decide to run for president?
It’s too early to tell. The timing of these revelations is actually quite good as there is plenty of time for inquiries to be held and for the truth to come out. Prior to this scandal, I believed Christie – as an individual – was worth a look. He may still be… if his hands are clean. Time will tell.
It’s a long road to the primaries with plenty of time for damage control.
– Erin Drushel