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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enters the Borough Hall in Fort Lee to apologize to Mayor Mark Sokolich on January 9, 2014 in Fort Lee, New Jersey. According to reports Christie's Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly is accused of giving a signal to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge, allegedly as punishment for the Fort Lee, New Jersey mayor not endorsing the Governor during the election.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie might be in the middle of a pretty juicy scandal but he seems to be emerging without too much damage to his reputation and future prospects. 'Bridgegate', the controversy surrounding the traffic jam caused by lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, did shave a little bit off of Christie's popularity but a new Quinnipiac poll shows that New Jersey residents are largely sticking by their governor.
Christie profusely apologized for the lane closures but does the 'revenge' approach to politics make him out to be a bully? More than half (54%) of those polled said that Christie was more of a leader than a bully, with only 40 percent picking bully. New Jersey is no stranger to tough politics and some politicos are arguing that sometimes politicians like Chris Christie should play dirty.
The tough politicians have a track record of being successful in Washington. Is it the tough and pushy politics that actually gets things done? If this same scandal had happened in another state would it be as easily shrugged off? Should we accept a little bit of ‘bully’ in our politicians?
Bob Ingle, Senior Political Columnist for Gannett New Jersey newspapers and co-author of “Chris Christie: The Inside Story of His Rise to Power” (St Martin’s Press, 2012)
David Plotz, editor of the online magazine Slate and a co-host of Slate's Political Gabfest