Looks like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been demoted. Not in his home state, where he still stands tall in his bully pulpit, but on Donald Trump’s presidential transition team. The President-elect announced Mike Pence would be taking over the top job on Trump’s transition team, pushing Christie into a vice spot.
While no one said it, there’s little doubt the move had something to do with the recent convictions of two of Christie’s top aides in the Bridge-gate scandal.
The management lesson here is that, even if you escape direct blame for your employee’s shenanigans, you can rest assured you are still marred by them. At least in reputation.
After the convictions, Christie took a pedantic tone, not only insisting (again) he had nothing to do with the scandal that closed down the bridge but also directly scolding his aides for their nefarious decision-making.
Sure, he was scot-free as far as the courts were concerned, but his prime spot as one of Trump’s number one guys didn’t survive the week. According to a release from the Trump camp, Christie will be the vice president of transition effort as he “deals with” the fallout from Bridge-gate.
There was bound to be some shuffling as Trump moves forward hiring thousands to help him make the transition from candidate to president. Questions have been swirling around Christie for months. He was ever-present in Trump’s early campaign, but dropped off in recent months, replaced more often than not by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Much of the transition team development and delegation will be handled by the three eldest Trump kids and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Much was said early on about Christie angling for an inside track on the attorney general spot in a Trump administration.
There’s much less of that kind of chatter now.
If Christie is denied a top spot in the Trump Cabinet, it will stand as a striking example of what can happen to your reputation when you let surrogates take the fall.
Ronn Torossian is one of America’s foremost Public Relations executives as founder/CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent PR Agency. The firm was honored as PR Firm of the Year by The American Business Awards, and has been named to the Inc. 500 List. Torossian is author of the best-selling "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." For more of Ronn Torossian's reports, Go Here Now.
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