EDITORIAL: Final straw for Christie’s political career
Bridgegate scandal is end of road for New Jersey governor
The closing arguments for the Bridgegate trial have just begun, but the conversation about Gov. Chris Christie’s (R-N.J.) future standing in politics has been circulating for years.
Christie’s already-low approval rating of 26 percent from July recently fell to the current 21 percent.
His status amongst citizens was not always negative. Immediately following the horrible results of Hurricane Sandy, his approval rating was at 77 percent. In fact, some people were so supportive of Christie that many people insisted that he run against President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. So what does a “respected” politician urged to become president do wrong to lose his bid to serve as the Republican vice presidential nominee? Almost everything.
One of the most apparent reasons behind Christie’s negative reputation is the current "Bridgegate" trial. After a six-week long trial, Bridget Anne Kelly, the former Deputy-in-Chief to the governor, testified that she had already told Christie about what she only thought was a “legitimate traffic study” and that he had approved it. Although Kelly’s complete denial of her knowledge of the effects of the lane closures in Fort Lee seem to be refuted by her incriminating emails, her accounts of the trying relationship between her and her former boss are indicative of Christie’s reputation in politics becoming more damaged than it already was. Whether Christie’s claim of his lack of involvement in this scandal is true or not, the light that his administration has brought to his tense treatment of his appointees has painted him in a deserved but harsh light. The fact that the staff in his administration feel the need to get revenge on Democratic Party members says a lot about his character and the environment he encourages.
Christie, in the times of his approval, used to pay close attention to his Democratic counterparts. In fact, some Democratic officials were so encouraging of him that they were willing to dissociate themselves from their parties in order to properly support him in his run for the election. As the years went on, he was the one who began to dissociate himself from these Democratic officials and their views. This is especially evident in his vetoing of gun control laws pushed by the Democratic Party that he used to voice his support for. Many claim that this blatant hypocrisy was to ensure his presidency when he ran, however, this does not help his case.
In the past he has also received complaints from New Jersey residents while he was on his campaign trail in 2015 and 2016. Many people felt as though his focus more heavily relied on his presidential campaign than on New Jersey, where it should have been.
The recent implementation of a higher gas tax in New Jersey has also bolstered anti-Christie sentiments. Although this 23-cent raise is beneficial to transportation projects in New Jersey, it completely goes against Christie’s promise to oppose tax hikes.
A major proponent of Christie’s declining reputation was his support of Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. When a video leaked of Trump making inappropriate, sexual comments about women, Christie declared that although he did not support what Trump was saying, he was still supportive of his presidency. Many other Republicans distanced themselves from Trump after these comments were made, and yet Christie remained behind him.
Gov. Christie is the same man he was in 2012. It is only the information about him available that has changed. The years have shined a light on his true agendas. Christie’s term is coming to a close, and so the revival of his reputation is unlikely, predicting that his role in politics is also ending. And based on his reputation of hypocrisy, this is for the better.
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