Christie better hope he is entirely innocent

There is a long way between today and 2016.

It seems like the next Presidential race has already started and with both sides being wide open, there are few issues about which speculation is more entertaining.

I’m going to make a bold prediction – which really isn’t that bold because no one will remember I said this when each party finally picks a candidate. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Chris Christie will be on your mind when you step in that voting booth on Nov. 8, 2016.

I’m afraid Hillary History is repeating itself. Everyone loves Mrs. Clinton three years before they vote for President. She is Bill’s wife, a lawyer, a Senator, and a Secretary of State. I would also wager that about 9 times out of 10, she is the smartest person in the room.

But that was also true eight years ago when she was the obvious 2008 Democratic candidate. The only question was whom she would choose as a running mate.

At this point in the 2008 Presidential Election Cycle, Barack Obama had just moved from the Illinois State Senate to the U.S. Senate. He was still picking out curtains for his new office.

Eight years later, Clinton is the “obvious” candidate again.

But with the shadows of Benghazi cast over her time in the Secretary of State’s office and enough political skeletons to fill a dozen closets, I don’t even know that she will make a serious bid in 2016.

Chris Christie has been leveraging and maneuvering his way into the spotlight for a couple of years. But he had already angered the TEA Party Republicans before anyone in his office ever shut down a bridge in retaliation for endorsing Christie’s opponent last year.

Since Christie is from New Jersey and is unfortunately prone to frequent verbal outbursts, he already carried the reputation of a bully. He claims he had no knowledge of the bridge closing incident before it happened, but those claims are difficult to believe.

He did a decent job with his press conference last week where he apologized and promised to clean house to get rid of everyone who was involved in stepping on this political land mine.

But Christie better hope he is entirely innocent or these people are implicitly loyal to him.

Even if he didn’t know, a false implication would be enough to kill any thoughts of higher office.

If only Woodward and Bernstein had been able to request emails and texts, how easy would Watergate have been to investigate? Asking for copies of electronic communications is so much easier and better than phone calls from Deepthroat and following the money.

Clinton seems to be in a great spot. But she has come from ahead to lose before.

Christie was already in a tenuous position as a national candidate and this scandal does nothing to improve his chances.

I don’t expect either of them to be on the ballot when 2016 finally rolls around.

Kent Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: