New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s 2016 presidential hopes might be on the rocks after two controversies have embroiled his administration in recent weeks.
The first was the revelation that an aide close to the governor had arranged with the Port Authority to close a lane of the George Washington Bridge, ensnaring traffic for days on an already often congested route.
Chronicled in early January by The New York Times with headlines like ”Christie’s Carefully Devised, No-Nonsense Image in Peril,” the details emerged from administration emails subpoenaed by an investigation into the lane closure.
The closure evidently was directed at the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, as punishment for not endorsing Christie during his reelection. Christie denied having any knowledge of the aide’s actions and subsequently fired her in the ensuing media frenzy.
Still reeling from the hit to his otherwise relatively pristine public image, Christie was hit with another scandal last week as Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer accused Christie making herself and Hoboken the subject of what many media outlets have deemed the governor’s “bully politics.”
Zimmer alleged on MSNBC the New Jersey Lieutenant Governor threatened to withhold recovery funds in the wake of Hurricane Sandy unless the mayor supported a Rockefeller real estate development.
In an age of ideological polarization, Christie had emerged as a moderate conservative fawned over by political analysts as a leader making genuine efforts towards bipartisanship.
In light of recent events, whether Christie’s image can rebound from the battering it has received is still unclear.