Christie’s second term begins under cloud of ‘bridgegate’

 N.J. Gov. Chris Christie at a 2011 press conference. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, file)

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie at a 2011 press conference. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, file)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie begins his second term of office today with the cloud of the George Washington Bridge scandal hanging over him. 

Ben Dworkin of Rider University’s Institute for New Jersey Politics says as Christie takes his oath of office a second time, his political armor has been weakened significantly.

“Now with the bridge controversy hanging over all of Trenton, he is going to have a much tougher time having the media and the public focusing on what he wants them to focus on,” he said.

Dworkin is not saying that Christie will be powerless.

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“Regardless of whether the governor is at 58 percent approval or 28 percent approval, he is the linchpin of anything getting done in New Jersey. Now some things have to get done, like the state has to pass a budget. He will obviously continue to be tremendously influential there,” Dworkin said. “Things have to be done — appointments have to be made judges have to be nominated. He will still be involved with all of that.”

During his state of the state speech, Christie brought up the bridge scandal right away and then moved on. Political observers are curious how it will be handled this time around.

Governor Christie is scheduled to be sworn in at noon today at the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton. But the post-inauguration celebration party on Ellis Island has been cancelled over concerns of heavy snow tonight. 

The 2014 Inaugural Committee issued the following statement for the event that charged $500 per person.

“While we regret to cancel this special evening for our guests, their safety is our first priority and takes total precedence in our planning. We thank all of our supporters for their generosity and urge New Jerseyans to stay safe in today’s conditions and heed the guidance of emergency management officials.”

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