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Christie's “Bridgegate” Scandal

Chris Christie has dominated the headlines for the last day or so. He and his administration have been ensnared in a scandal dubbed “bridgegate,” and the media is having a field day. Anything to distract from ObamaCare and make Republicans look bad.

The scandal boils down to this: In the last election in November, Christie was trying to gain endorsements from mayors throughout New Jersey, including Democrats across the aisle. The story goes that the Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee, a Democrat, refused to endorse Christie's re-election. As a result, Christie's deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, contacted Port Authority official David Wildstein (who went to high school with Christie) to close down traffic lanes in Fort Lee in order to tie up traffic in the mayor's town. The message sent from Kelly to Wildstein reads, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” As a result, for four days in September, the Port Authority shut down two lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey to Manhattan. The closures resulted in traffic jams which kept commuters, students on school buses and even emergency responders stuck for hours.

This morning Chris Christie held a press conference addressing the issue. He apologized to the people of New Jersey, of Fort Lee and the state legislature and thusly fired his aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, because she lied to Christie. Many times he conveyed that he was “heartbroken” that someone betrayed his trust, but says that ultimately he is responsible: “Ultimately I am responsible for what happens under my watch, for good and for bad.” After interviewing top members of his staff, Christie has reason to believe, at this time, that no other person was involved and no other information exists that has yet to be disclosed. Christie reiterated that he had no knowledge or involvement in the planning or execution of these closures, being led to believe that this was nothing more than a traffic study. He also defended charges by the press of being a “bully,” and tampered any talk of how this effects a possible presidential run.

The media loves a scandal, much less a scandal involving a Republican. The fact that this is a Republican who will likely be running for the presidency in 2016 makes it all the sweeter. The media will obsess over this scandal, perhaps doing more “investigating” than it seemed eager to do for the various scandals involving the Obama administration. But that's just par for the course. You can rest-assured that if Christie does go on to run for president, this issue will be mentioned by the liberal media in virtually every conversation or analysis. If Hillary Clinton runs for president, will Benghazi or the host of other scandals similarly coincide with their analysis? Highly doubtful. I'm not saying that the actions of Christie's staff were in the right, but I am pointing to how the media will treat this differently than it would if it were a liberal.

It's also interesting that Christie is the Republican that the liberal media has seemingly anointed as the GOP candidate for 2016, when a lot of conservatives would boldly disagree. The liberal media is predicting the future through their liberal prism; maybe THEY want Christie, but that's not the case for many conservatives. In that case, they think they've doomed the Republicans' changes for 2016, when many conservatives don't believe that to be the case because of this scandal. Notice that a lot of conservatives haven't exactly swooped in to save him.

Can Christie survive this? I'll say this, 2016 is a long ways away and Christie isn't known for backing down easily.