Let’s not pretend like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s credibility was at an all-time high prior to last week, but his unfortunate photo-op at the beach didn’t help his political cause whatsoever.
Amidst a state budget crisis that has left public beaches closed to, well, the public, Christie decided to take his family to one of the affected beaches and camp out for the day. Not the wisest political move in U.S. history.
Actually, calling it an unwise move might be an understatement. Amidst a governorship that’s seen more “-gates” than a Beverly Hills mansion, Christie is digging himself into a proverbial pit of sand.
Things got worse earlier this week when the governor took to the local radio airwaves to “try out” for a sports radio hosting gig. Predictably, he was met with a few angry New Jerseyan callers.
One thing is certain about New Jersey, its residents aren’t shy about expressing their feelings. Take a caller dubbed “Mike from Montclair.”
As entertaining as it is to hear a governor go back and forth against his own constituents, this is obviously bad politics at the highest order.
Chris Christie’s fall to the bottom is hardly a recent phenomenon. Republicans could argue that it started during the 2012 presidential election when he was seen strutting hand-in-hand with President Obama following Hurricane Sandy. Was it a good moment for his state? Probably. Was it good for Republican candidate Mitt Romney? Probably not.
Then there was bridge gate, which involved the closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge—a massive commuting nightmare for residents of New Jersey who needed to drive to work in Manhattan.
And then, with the stench of bridge gate still fresh in the atmosphere, Christie decided to back candidate Donald Trump, once again throwing the entire Republican establishment under the bus and causing hopefuls like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz to ultimately bow out of the 2016 race.
Christie’s approval rating quickly tanked. Republicans despised him for sabotaging the party’s primary process, Democrats hated him for supporting Trump in general, and his residents were still angry with him over bridge gate. Needless to say, the beach photo is a culmination of a 5 years’ long collapse for Governor Christie.
Perhaps it’s a sign that he just doesn’t care anymore. He knew full well that there’d be cameras following him to a public beach, but clearly, the optics didn’t bother him whatsoever. In a sense, it’s kind of nice to see a career politician show his true colors. Maybe more will follow suit.