Christie's Bridge-Gate May Open 2016 Opportunities for Others
Friday, January 10, 2014 07:28 AM
By: Melissa Clyne
With the mea culpas out of the way and damage control in full throttle, the business of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s future is underway.
While even detractors and opponents have mostly given the Republican high marks for his handling of the scandal over politically motivated lane closures – and resulting gridlock – on the George Washington Bridge last fall, pundits and insiders are hard at work speculating how the incident might hurt Christie and help others believed to also have their sights on the White House in 2016.
Christie fired two of his top aides – Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Stepien – after learning of their involvement in the scandal via emails obtained by the news media.
The ousters “demonstrated the blunt force that Christie is willing to use to contain a crisis, even if it means exiling members of his innermost circle,” The Washington Post reported.
The governor is handling the mess in true Christie fashion: directly, a trait the country needs to see more, writes Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway in the National Review. While the scandal was surely not how Christie imagined his entre to the national stage, it gave him an opportunity to show the country his leadership style.
“Christie made a mistake, apologized, promptly removed those who erred, and resolved to make right a horrible situation,” Conway wrote. “After eight years of a president who displays no such skills, Americans may hope for a different kind of change.”
Even so, Christie’s political capital may take a hit and there are plenty of groups ready to bird-dog the spotlight, The Hill reports.
“I think there are three constituencies that benefit from Christie’s problems: One is the Democrats, two are the Republicans who don’t like him, and three are the potential Republican candidates who share his same space: Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan," Ana Navarro, who worked on Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, told the newspaper.
Hillary Clinton could also benefit from Christie’s problems, reports The Boston Herald.
“Hillary Clinton must be happy Christie’s woes have bumped her from the nightly news, especially after former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ revelation she only opposed the Iraq invasion for political reasons during her 2008 presidential bid. Whose scandal will voters remember in 2016?”