New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is back in the news again — though not for his rotund figure this time. The past few months have been a bit of a mess for the New Jersey governor; between the Fort Lee Bridge Scandal, the questionable usage of Sandy funds and the need to cleanse his advisers, Christie has his hands full. The nation, not just the state of New Jersey, is paying close attention to Christie’s actions — evaluating the man who wants to be president.

A few weeks ago the governor spoke on his involvement in the Fort Lee Bridge Scandal, stating he had no idea his people had a hand in its occurrence. While I believe his statements, it greatly concerns me that he has little clue what his most trusted advisers are doing behind his back. Granted, Christie has hundreds of people working for him and he cannot control all of them, he should at least monitor those with a lot of power in his organization.

But that’s just lip work. Clearly this scheme was not just thrown together on a whim — there must have been signals that Christie should have picked up on. If the mayor of Fort Lee accused the governor of foul play, there must have been a reason behind it — Christie should not have taken what his advisers told him at face value. While trust is the foundation behind Christie’s organization, he should have investigated further as the media and the public clamored for an explanation.

If Christie cannot trust the people he picked to help him run New Jersey, I am not convinced that if he was elected president, he would be able to control his cabinet any more effectively. If the president’s cabinet is corrupt, chances are the disease will spread to the rest of the presidency’s organization as well.

Now, the FBI is investigating the use of the Hurricane Sandy relief funds by Christie and his organization.  The new year has only just begun and already there are two marks against the governor; it does not bode well for the presidential hopeful. The last thing Christie needs during this time when he’s trying to reassure the people his hands are clean is another scandal to deal with. With New Jersey still feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy, it damages the people’s support of Christie that accusations of misspent money are coming to light.

Especially in these economically stressed times, every cent has to be carefully spent — the state cannot afford for it to go missing or be misused. I feel that if Christie wants to salvage his run for the presidency he has to address the people and lay everything out to ensure minimal damage to his career — and do it sooner rather than later.

The more time Christie takes to address these issues, the more support he loses.

Christie’s opponents will use every available opening to discredit him during his presidential run and you can bet that the Fort Lee Bridge and the misuse of Sandy Funds will be brought up time and time again. These events are not just going to blow over — the constant dredging up of these incidents will ensure that the seed of doubt will always be present in the minds of those who support him. It is best to address concerns now, address the people and quell their fears. With the media focused on him, Christie should accept responsibility, cooperate with the FBI to clear his name, and do everything in his power to guarantee that nothing like the Fort Lee Bridge Scandal will happen again. No state wants to be scared of blocked roadways and closed bridges if they refuse to support the president. The ice is cracking and unless the governor wants to fall through, he better fix this mess and distance himself from those who were involved.

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--- Senior | Executive Editor Emeritus --- Finance/English

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