By anyone’s account, eight years is a long time for a politician to serve. Many events occur within the span of a single year, much less eight. During an eight year tenure, a politician could serve with class and respect for their constituents (regardless of what side of the political aisle they stand), or they could be embroiled in scandals, corruption, obvious examples of disrespect and other misdeeds that no one serving public office should be involved in.
Luckily, there are prime examples of how to act as a politician whose reputation is not damaged by a scandal. Generally speaking, Vice President Joe Biden served with class and dignity and his boss, the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, left the office of Commander in Chief with an overall approval rating of 59 percent, according to a historical Gallup Poll analysis. While this is not the highest of all previous presidents, it is still a huge advantage on his predecessor, George W. Bush whose reign in office occurred during tumultuous times rocked by large-scale natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and economic disasters such as The Great Recession; according to the same Gallup Poll analysis, Bush left The Oval Office with an approval rating of 34 percent.
Unlike the 43rd president, the approval rating during the end of New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s tenure, was 15 percent — about five points lower than Bush’s lowest rating at 25 percent. The only governors with similar approval ratings were criminals like Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich who notoriously accepted bribes for political appointments, including Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

An image of Bridget Anne Kelly, the deputy chief of staff to Chris Christie

Bridget Anne Kelly (nydailynews)

While Christie allegedly did not fall into criminal activity, and also did not receive a jail sentence like Blagojevich, some of his colleagues were not so fortunate. Arguably the biggest scandal of Christie’s scandal-filled governorship, was “Bridgegate.” Several members of Christie’s administration, and an employee closed two out of the three lanes on the George Washington Bridge without advising the public, as well as city officials, emergency services or other vital state and city services. This triggered a series of unfortunate events, including an elderly woman having a heart attack while the ambulance was stuck in a traffic jam on the bridge. Due to obvious abuses of power, Chris Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly received an 18-month prison sentence while Port Authority Executive Director Bill Baroni received a two-year sentence.
While Bridgegate was Christie’s biggest scandal, there were several other smaller actions that built the basis for his constituents to dislike him.        

An image of Chris Christie and his family at the governor’s official retreat in Island Beach State Park

Chris Christie and family at Island Beach State Park (nytimes)

One of the most meme-worthy and ridiculed moment of Christie’s governorship — outside of Bridgegate– occurred during Independence Day weekend of 2017, when Christie and his family visited Island Beach State Park, despite state beaches being closed due to a government shutdown. When asked about the Christie family trip to the beach, in a press conference soon after, Christie said he “didn’t get any sun”. After photos were shared online of Christie and his family sunbathing at the beach, he responded with “That’s just the way it goes. Run for governor, and you can have a residence.”
Additionally, it became quite apparent to his constituents and the majority of America, given his over-the-top endorsement of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, that he was vying to become Trump’s running mate and eventually Vice President.

An image of Chris Christie and Donald Trump

Chris Christie and Donald Trump (huffingtonpost)

Yet, Trump chose Indiana governor Mike Pence, most likely in an attempt to woo Evangelical voters, much to the dismay of the universally scorned governor. Trump later put Christie on his transition team, only to remove him months later.
What any aspiring politician can learn from the governorship of Chris Christie is essentially the same lesson taught in Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.”; stay humble to oneself. If you’re showing your support for someone; then support them because you believe in them as opposed to supporting them for personal gain. If you have been elected to public office, remember that it is a public office job and not a private one. Serve the public and serve proudly as opposed to disrespectfully.
Oh, well. Now, I wish Phil Murphy the best of luck in his governorship; hopefully, he’ll be doing things wildly different from his predecessor.   

What were your feelings on Chris Christie? Tell me on Twitter at @CaptainKasoff.