By David Cruz
Gov. Chris Christie is probably not wanting for advice in these, his most troubling political days. Pundits aplenty have shared their thoughts on what the governor can do to right his ship.
“Stay out of shouting matches with David Wildstein, which he seemed to think was a good idea,” advised Nick Acocella, editor of the influential PolitiFax, “and just [continue with] business as usual, more sit-downs with the legislative leadership and see if you can get anything cooking.”
With the Super Bowl over now, the governor is trying to get back on offense. It started this weekend with that email to supporters attacking the credibility of Wildstein, a move that some found overly personal. But last night on his radio call-in show, Christie said he is moving on.
“My job is to be governor of the state of New Jersey and I’m going to do that job,” said Christie. “I’m going back to work. I mean, I can’t afford to allow this to dominate my time the way it dominates some folks in the media and some partisans.”
The agenda is the theme state Republicans stressed in Trenton today. Republican leader Jon Bramnick said that might not be as sexy as a bridge scandal, but it’s far more important.
“We should also not forget about the issues pending in this state, very important issues that affect almost everyone in New Jersey,” admonished Assembly Minority Leader Bramnick.
Christie said he’d already begun that process. “I had a meeting with the Senate president and the speaker to discuss our agendas, a really good hour-and-a-half meeting today and talking about all those types of things and things that are on their agenda,” he said.
But Christie’s profile has shrunk in the last month. Since his marathon session early last month, he has avoided us and hasn’t formally met the press since.
“I’ve had people say in South Jersey recently when he spoke in Manahawkin that perhaps Chris Christie wouldn’t have gotten into the trouble he’s in if he wasn’t looking ahead towards national aspirations,” said PolitickerNJ Reporter Mark Bonamo.
With investigations threatening to drag on for months, Christie may also be able to count on scandal fatigue, although, so far, interest in the GWB lane closures remains high.
The governor will hit the road starting next week, stumping and raising money for other Republican governors, confident that the evidence will prove he’s done nothing wrong and perhaps hopeful that that will be enough to get the Christie bandwagon back on track.