Governor Christie takes his stance, kicking up dirt in his State of the State address. He acknowledges wrongdoing, without acknowledging that he played a part in the bridge traffic event by stating, “Mistakes were clearly made.” (Full text of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 2014 State of the State speech, 2014) It’s easy to laugh at the idea of a governor’s staff creating a traffic jam as an act of political retribution against the NJ mayor, as long as you weren’t one the folks stuck in the jam.
On September 9, 2013, David Wildstein, port authority official, and high school friend of Governor Christie, ordered lane closures on one of the world’s busiest bridges. When the mayor of Fort Lee, NJ, failed to endorse Governor Christie for re-election, Bridgette Anne Kelly, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, sent an email to Mr. Wildstein reading, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” (‘Very Sad’ Chris Christie Extends Apology in Bridge Scandal, 2014) Multiple lane closures added hours onto the commute of thousands who travelled the bridge. Had they still been in high school, it may have been considered one of the greatest senior pranks. Instead, it has become a huge embarrassment for the Christie administration.
In response to the bridge traffic scandal, Governor Christie lowered his head and fired his staff. Along with Ms. Kelly and Mr. Wildstein, others fired for the incident include Mr. Bill Stepien, Governor Christie’s two time campaign manager, and Mr. Bill Baroni, friend and high ranking member at the port authority. (‘Very Sad’ Chris Christie Extends Apology in Bridge Scandal, 2014) “Ole.” Governor Christie passes the matador, but returns to face them again on the scandal of misappropriation of funds.
Another scandal surrounding the Christie administration is a federal investigation regarding the misuse of funds from hurricane Sandy. Approximately $2 million in Sandy relief funds were said to be used for an ad during Governor Christie’s run for reelection. (Embattled N.J. Governor Christie faces probe over Sandy funds, 2014) Mr. Christie may have won by a landslide, but then again what’s more important, the spotlight amidst a campaign or homeowners affected by the storm? The idea “stronger than the storm” was meant to promote tourism, just because Christie had a bit in it doesn’t mean he was using it for re-election purposes. Sand castles built on the Jersey shore are just as resilient as the houses that could have been raised from the Sandy relief funds.
At times the bull may disregard the cape and go after the matador. Governor Christie did just this against reporter, Manish Mehta, who criticized a decision by Jet’s coach, Rex Ryan, early last fall. The reporter may have been caught off guard when the governor took the radio waves last August to defend his friend. “Idiot. The guy’s a complete idiot.” Governor Christie continued with, “We shouldn’t be giving this dope, you know, the amount of airtime we’ve given him already.” (Gov. Chris Christie calls Daily News reporter Manish Mehta 'idiot' on radio show) The non-stop news on various Christie Administration scandals may leave many folks to say the same about him.
The best move for the bull at this time is to push his agenda, and put the scandals behind him. Two main points that were covered in the state of the state address were improving education and controlling costs. (Full text of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 2014 State of the State speech, 2014) To improve upon education, Governor Christie would like to extend the hours per day students spend in school as well as the school year. If his agenda brings an improvement to the educational system, and makes for a better quality of life in the state of New Jersey, he may again pass the matador and move forward as a frontrunner for the GOP in 2016.
Chadbourn, B. G. (2014, 01 13). Embattled N.J. Governor Christie faces probe over Sandy funds. Retrieved 01 15, 2014, from Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/13/us-usa-politics-christie-ad-idUSBREA0C0XB20140113
Full text of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 2014 State of the State speech. (2014, 01 14). Retrieved 01 15, 2014, from The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/full-text-of-new-jersey-gov-chris-christies-2014-state-of-the-state-speech/2014/01/14/8fd12f08-7d55-11e3-9556-4a4bf7bcbd84_story.html?wprss=rss_national
Kate Zernike, a. M. (2014, 01 09). ‘Very Sad’ Chris Christie Extends Apology in Bridge Scandal. Retrieved 01 15, 2014, from New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/10/nyregion/christie-controversy-bridge-lane-closings.html?_r=0
Walder, S. (2013, 08 26). Gov. Chris Christie calls Daily News reporter Manish Mehta 'idiot' on radio show Retrieved 01 15, 2014, from NY Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/christie-calls-news-reporter-idiot-radio-show-article-1.1437865