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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

BIGGI: Chris Christie scandal draws unnecessary attention to 2016 elections


n mid-September, George Washington Bridge, located in New Jersey, closed multiple lanes, resulting in horrendous traffic jams. This week it was revealed that the traffic was in fact a ploy to seek political vengeance.

Two aides of the polarizing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were caught sending private emails and text messages in an attempt to have multiple lane closures on one of the nation’s busiest bridges. Christie has since stated he had no knowledge of the incident and he would not tolerate it.

The bridge happens to be located in Fort Lee, home of Democrat Mayor Mark Sokolich, who failed to endorse Christie in his most recent election. This led to an email being sent by aides saying, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

Anyone who has driven from New Jersey to Manhattan is fully aware that getting from point A to point B is likely going to be a mess. The closure was targeted at one man, but the clear neglect is for the citizens who would sometimes be stuck in traffic for upwards of four hours.

Many will have their qualms over whether the governor knew of the incident, but is this really one of the biggest political scandals of the decade? Every time you turn on CNN this week, you are going to get a “breaking news” alert with new information about the Chris Christie scandal. Following, there will be a discussion of whether this affects his presidential chances in 2016.

It is becoming hard to tell if this overreaction is simply a media bias toward the Democratic Party, or if there is just nothing else to report on. The referendum of this so-called “scandal” could affect the mind of the American voter due to overexposing Christie as the culprit. The governor is without a doubt the most viable candidate for the Republican Party in the 2016 presidential election. In fact, he leads polling against every hypothetical democrat candidate, including Hillary Clinton.

It all stems from our obsession as a country with the electoral process. As soon as an election comes to a close, another is just beginning. Had this scandal centered around a governor who was not a presidential frontrunner, there would not be the same media outrage surrounding one person.

On all fronts, the Republican Party is in trouble. In order to regain the White House, they need a candidate who has somewhat moderate social beliefs and a vibrant personality. Therefore, Christie is the ideal candidate. If he did not have knowledge of what was going on with “Bridge-gate,” or more colorfully known as “Toll-gate,” then his only fault was not maintaining control of his staff.

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