Before declaring a snow emergency in New Jersey on Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie was sworn in for a second term. Aside from a two-minute standing ovation, there was little fanfare.
There wasn't an inaugural ball, which was canceled because of snow, yet Christie continues to make headlines. According to the New York Daily News, only 30 minutes before the governor took the oath of office, the state assembly and senate announced they're combining two probes. They're merging inquiries into the one commonly known as “Bridgegate” and a claim by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, a Democrat, that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno threatened to hold hurricane relief funds hostage unless she supported a commercial development initiative.
From the outside looking in, recent scandals have shown how New Jersey splits cleanly along party lines, yet Christie called for more bipartisan efforts during his inaugural address on Tuesday. It was also the theme he used to defend himself during a nearly two-hour-long press conference the day after the bridge scandal. He was again subdued and less forceful than the man who made no bones about demanding residents evacuate as Hurricane Sandy descended upon New Jersey in 2012.
Talking heads continue to call Christie a 2016 presidential hopeful and debate whether the scandals will hurt him in that year's Republican presidential primaries. Meanwhile, the governor again distanced himself from the notion that he's at all focused on running for the highest office in the land.
“We cannot fall victim to the attitude of Washington, DC. The attitude that says I am always right and you are always wrong,” Christie said during his address.
When Christie scoffed at the idea two weeks ago that he was shouldering the blame for Bridgegate to keep his presidential hopes alive, it didn't ring genuine. As these scandals continue to unravel, however, it's becoming more plausible that 2016 is at least being put on the back burner.