Christie can’t avoid issues despite distractions
Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 03:01
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has now proposed a plan for a longer school year with longer school days — perhaps to educate future politicians in hopes that they will have enough foresight to prevent costly mistakes such as those he’s recently made.
The proposal was made just a week after it was revealed that aides to the governor had purposely created massive traffic backups on the George Washington Bridge in response to a local mayor’s indecision to publicly endorse Christie.
Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee, N.J. had been approached about supporting Christie, but only replied that he would consider giving his
endorsement. In return, a group close to Christie closed traffic lanes on the busy bridge, causing lengthy jams for commuters heading to the city.
Consequently, four officials have either stepped down or been terminated from Christie’s staff. While there is no proof that links the governor to the plot, the guilt associated with the scandal leaves a blemish on his record as he transitions into his second term. The incident may also affect his presidential hopes in 2016.
But the proposal regarding school hours is not going to be of much help.
Addressed during his State of the State address, it sounds like a desperate attempt at a rebound. The scandal has stepped on the toes of liberals and any bipartisanship that Christie was hoping would earn him popularity in 2016. Additionally, education reform has only brought the governor mixed success in the past: previous brushes with the education system led teachers to fund anti-Christie campaigns, bringing more negative attention to his campaign.
If Christie wants to have a successful run in 2016, he needs to highlight his
involvement in improving the New Jersey economy and regain a foothold in bipartisan efforts.
Instead of taking stabs at miscellaneous issues, Christie needs to focus on topics that are at the forefront of American attention if he hopes to garner the votes he needs to earn a spot on the ballot in 2016.
Eric Heubusch is a freshman majoring in mass communications.