With the George Washington Bridge lane closure controversy making national news, some have questioned if it spells the end of Gov. Chris Christie’s political career. Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University Director Ben Dworkin told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that Christie can survive the controversy.
“First of all, we should understand New Jersey’s governorship is the most powerful governorship in the entire country,” said Dworkin. “Has more powers than any other governor.”
If approval ratings for Christie throughout the state were to drop, Dworkin said it would not matter since Christie is still the governor.
With Christie’s second term set to begin, Dworkin believes that the governor will be able to work with Democrats, but as long as the controversy from the George Washington Bridge lane closure exists, it will create some tension between Christie and Democrats.
As for Christie’s image, Dworkin said that it will shift following the controversy. Previously, Christie has been known as a bully and now critics are saying he has abused the power of his office, according to Dworkin.
“This is the new narrative that Christie’s critics are going to be pushing,” said Dworkin. “Even when the bridge story is done, there’ll be another story about abusive power.”
If Christie still has presidential aspirations, Dworkin said that all the stories about him — including the current controversy — will be his concern heading toward 2016.