Chris Christie Believes Scandal Won’t Affect His 2016 Presidential Run
New Jersey Governor Christ Christie was extremely confident in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer that the traffic scandal which has marred his administration will not affect any of his future political plans, even a potential run in 2016 for president. This is his first television interview since January when he held a press conference because news of the “Bridgegate” scandal was just starting to become known. There were documents released that month that said several people who either worked under or were connected to Governor Christie were involved in closing lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge. Democrats were alleging that this was part of a political retribution scheme intended to pay someone back for a political wrongdoing.
Before news of this scandal erupted, Christie was considered to be a frontrunner for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination. And he clearly still believes that he can make that dream happen. He is quoted as saying “I haven’t made a decision about 2016, and I don’t intend to make a decision about 2016 until a year from now, but it won’t have anything to do with what’s happened in the past 10 weeks. What’s happened in the past 10 weeks, I think, will ultimately make me a better leader, whether it’s as governor of New Jersey or in any other job I might take in the public or private sector.”
The governor even talked down notions that the investigation done by an independent law firm was biased saying that he would more than likely use their recommendations in order to strengthen the ethics in his office. He also said that dealing with this scandal has been the “toughest time in his professional life. You don’t sleep, you don’t eat, you struggle.” He even chastised the people in his office for doing “inexplicably stupid things.”
He also appears to take a little responsibility for himself, as well, saying that “To the extent that any of them thought this was acceptable conduct, then I fell short.” The governor also says in the interview that the American people will love his famously brash style and that the state with the first-in-the-nation caucus, Iowa, will love him just as much as his constituents in New Jersey do.
The most interesting part of this whole interview, is that Governor Christie thinks that this will have no effect on his ability to run as a GOP presidential candidate. He knows that this has hurt his chance with moderates within the party, and he still thinks that he can win a general election. The Republican Party knows that to go up against the Democratic Party in a general election, you need to win the hearts of the moderate voters; and, Christie does not seem to carry the political tone to grab the hearts of the moderates.
I also find it interesting that he still accepts little to no blame for the actions in “Bridgegate.” Political underlings tend to mirror the tone and voice of the man in charge, so his overall in-your-face attitude was bound to make some people in his office believe that he would do whatever it takes. As a leader, it is important for Christie to realize that he is setting the political tone for his office, and that the attitude he takes will more than likely be mirrored and surpassed by those who are working for him. And if he were to be president, other countries would take his attitude and relate it to the attitude of the whole country, giving them an even more negative opinion of us than they already do. It is time that Christie realize that being the hot-head gets you the attention, but not necessarily the kind of attention you need to win a general election.