On the Surface
Back in early 2013, Chris Christie was considered a strong candidate –an early frontrunner, even– for the Republican nomination in 2016. But his polls plummeted later in 2013 following the scandal that is referred to as “Bridgegate,” and have remained stagnant ever since. Christie’s unwillingness to discuss the issue head-on will prove the final nail in the coffin for his 2016 bid.
The Fort Lee Lane Closure Scandal (dubbed “Bridgegate” by most) occured in September 2013, when appointees of New Jersey governor Chris Christie conspired to create a traffic jam by closing lanes in the George Washington bridge, causing enormous congestion and a declaration by Fort Lee of a threat to public safety.
Many speculate that the closure of lanes was Christie’s deliberate, retributive attempt to create gridlock in Fort Lee; the city’s mayor had declined to endorse Christie’s 2013 gubernatorial bid. Christie has vehemently denied knowledge of the lane closures, and fired the staff members responsible.
Christie’s poll numbers immediately plummeted as a result of Bridgegate, dropping as far as 22 percent in New Jersey. Long regarded a solid candidate for the 2016 nomination, Christie was tucked away by the Republican party, and today polls at around 4 percent.
If Chris Christie is really serious about his presidential bid, he needs to project a more honest image to the American people, who see him as a dishonest bureaucrat covering up an attempt at petty revenge. However, his historical stubbornness and refusal to discuss the issue likely means that he won’t in the future, and will prove fatal come election time.