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Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, has been caught up in some unflattering headlines, concerning the closures of several lanes of the George Washington Bridge and the less-than-legal reasons behind their closures. Facing a class-action lawsuit as well as a media circus, many are wondering about what this means for Christie's political aspirations (Public Policy Polling reported that Christie had a pretty good chance of holding his own against Hillary Clinton, if she chooses to run).
So what does this scandal mean for Christie?
How do Americans feel about one scandal in one state?
And how will they feel about it in two years?
Many are saying Christie is done, finished, and destined to live out his life as a typical, disgraced New Jersey politician. I however, do not see this as the final (and really only) nail in his coffin. Popular with as many Democrats as he is Republicans, Christie gained a ton of notoriety during Hurricane Sandy, and it's aftermath. His gruff manner has been a matter of discussion across media outlets, but American's seem to like his attitude. Never afraid to stand by his beliefs, rather than spew party line, Christie has been willing to make friends across the aisle, notably President Obama.
Christie's political aspirations will be decided by the press, that much is true-- it's the nature of political primaries puts the onus on the media to help the public differentiate between candidates. If Christie can survive this scandal, create a positive media cycle, I see hope. If his camp is only defensive, only tripping over themselves to apologize, creating a "spiral of silence" in the media and for political supporters, I think we may see his political aspirations wane and die.
Handled properly, this will make Christie stand out come primary season (the one time candidates want any type of press). His office needs to get in control now. Hire a strategic communications firm, find a real-life Olivia Pope. Who knows, if Christie really had a hands-off role in these closures, Dems may have an easier time forgiving him than Republicans will be for "forgiving" Hillary for Benghazi (but that my friends is for another day).