In a severe blow to his presidential bid, Gov. Chris Christie will not be one of the Republican presidential candidates taking part in next week’s debate hosted by Fox Financial Network. Christie failed to average 2.5% in the four most recent national polls used by the network to determine eligibility.
What a stunning reversal of fortune for the Republican once viewed in the same light as Hillary Clinton: a lock for their party’s presidential nomination. The New Jersey governor was arguable the most popular politician in the country not that long ago. Now he will be sitting at the kid’s table for the upcoming debate, along with Huckabee, Jindal, and Santorum.
Ironically, much of Christie’s fall can actually be traced to the liberal media. It was Rachel Maddow who picked up on a little known story about the closure of some lanes on the George Washington Bridge that eventually turned into a national scandal.
The closure of two of the three access lanes from Fort Lee to the Washington Bridge turned out to be political payback for the town’s Democrat mayor, Mark Sokolich, refusal to endorse Christie’s reelection bid for governor. Of course Christie, to this day, has denied involvement in the ordering of the lane closures and has basically thrown members of his staff under the bus.
But the damage was done. As more reporters picked up on the story, the American public learned what citizens of New Jersey knew all along: the man is a vindictive bully. Other New Jersey politicians started accusing Christie of misdeeds. The mayor of Hoboken, to name just one example, claimed that Christie’s office pressured her to approve a big development project represented by a Christie crony—or risk losing recovery aid for damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
The “Bridgegate” scandal is ongoing. While one Christie associate, David Wildstein, pleaded guilty in May on two criminal counts, the federal trial of two other allies, Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni, is still pending. Originally scheduled for this past July, and then September, the trial has now been delayed to April 2016.
What has been most amazing about Christie’s presidential run is that he chose to seek the Republican nomination while still not out of the woods on “Bridgegate.” More people could face charges connected to the notorious Fort Lee traffic jam, including Christie himself.
Unlike the access lanes to the bridge, this scandal is far from closed.
Photo | huffingtonpost.com