Chris Christie Bridging Out

By Nicholas Da Silva, Contributing Writer

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Gov. Chris Christie speaks at an event in Arizona in 2013.
Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

The last few years have found New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in really hot water. Ever since the Bridgegate scandal of 2013, the governor has found himself in a swarm of controversy from which he has been unable to escape. The whole scandal has been seen by many as the primary reason why his bid for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential campaign went up in smoke. In addition to the citizen’s complaint of misconduct filed against him now hanging over his head, the governor is not going to be able to move past this issue any time soon.

If the allegations of him being aware of what was going on are true, then he absolutely deserves everything that has happened to him since. Since the system is rightfully run on the notion of innocent until proven guilty, we will just have to wait and see if anything comes out of these new charges filed against him. However, even if Christie does not end up getting any actual punishment, the damage to his once respectable reputation has been done.

So it could not have come at a better time for the embattled New Jersey governor to hear the news that he has been appointed by President Donald Trump in a senior leadership role in the fight against opioid addiction. Christie has been outspoken in the past about his personal opposition to drug abuse. There is even footage online of Christie getting emotional when talking about losing a good friend to drug addiction. So it had to be somewhat satisfying for the governor to hear that he has been appointed by the president himself to take on a leading role for a cause that he cares about.

However, there is a possibility that there may be more in this appointment than just the chance to fight a noble cause. Even after Christie dropped out of the presidential race back in February, he moved quickly to endorse then-candidate Trump. Many saw this as a calculated attempt on Christie’s part to weasel his way into getting a position on the Trump administration.

Despite Christie publicly endorsing the eventual Republican nominee and winner of the 2016 presidential election, Trump ultimately did not offer a position to the New Jersey governor. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Bridgegate scandal may have played the most pivotal role in Trump’s decision.

So Christie had to be grinning from ear to ear when he found out that he had been given some sort of position of power Trump. Even though Christie probably would have aspired for a higher position of power within the Trump administration, I think he is very happy to have Trump hand him an offer at all after everything that has happened.

I do not blame Christie for being happy with that because any politician would run at the opportunity to be appointed to some sort of position by the president of the United States. Yet, given how transparent Christie’s attempts to get himself a higher political position came off, the whole promotion appears more like an impatient child finally getting what he wants, rather than a humble man earning a position through his hard work.

What also has to be taken into consideration is how Christie will likely use this war on drugs as a means of damage control for his wounded reputation. By standing up for a cause many people want to see being taken on, Christie is getting an easy opportunity to win himself a lot of positive publicity.

Whether or not Christie will pull off this Hail Mary attempt at a redemption story remains to be seen. Yet, if the charges against him are dropped and he manages to make positive waves in the war on drugs, Christie could mend the bridge between himself and the public who feel he betrayed them.

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