“Bridgegate” and What It Has To Do With Marketing

bridgegate george washington bridge traffic jam chris christie new jersey

Well, it’s January 17, 2014, so by now I guess that you’ve heard of the whole “Bridgegate” thingy in New Jersey with Governor Chris Crisco…I mean um…Christie? If not, I highly recommend starting from the beginning. But, this post today is about relating what happened there, to marketing.

How does a national scandal of closing access lanes down on The George Washington Bridge because some local mayor didn’t back your reelection campaign relate to marketing? Well, I guess you’ll have to keep reading to find out then.

First of all, the reason that has been given for the animosity and outright mafia-esque style tactics that were used here is that the local mayor of Fort Lee, NJ, who is Mark Sokolich, did not endorse Chris Christie in his 2013 reelection campaign.

Now, I get why politicians use endorsements, I’m in marketing for pete sakes~! But, if the allegations are true, and I don’t know that they are true, I’m just speculating here like everyone else, then it’s obviously a total travesty.

Let’s just go with the story that this is all to get back at someone for not endorsing Christie’s reelection campaign. If I was trying to market a product and I couldn’t get a certain celebrity like I don’t know, let’s say Lebron James. He’s in his peak right now so he’s often pitched to do commercials for big things and small things. Say that I couldn’t get him for whatever reason, the money isn’t right, the product isn’t right etc..

Well, then what do I do next? Do I declare an all out war against him for not helping me sell this product even though he was going to make millions of dollars for doing the ad? No, I suck it up, and go to the next person or celebrity on the list. (You do have a list don’t you?) I don’t take it so personally that I do everything in my power to bad mouth him, and try to blacklist him from getting any other gigs like this. No, that would be the wimpy, defeatist, and the kind of victim mentality that sends you on a downward spiral!

But, that’s exactly (if the allegations are true) what it looks like happened here. It’s appalling really. I mean look, this is politics and if governor Christie really needed Mayor Sokolich’s endorsement because he wanted to get more votes from that district, then really there is no one else he could have asked. Or was there?

Look, we all know that the mayor holds some serious street cred right? Well, okay, so Christie couldn’t get the mayor. Maybe he could have gotten a Senator, Congressmen, a State Senator or Representative, or even another up and coming important member in the government in that district, to endorse him? Sure, it would not have been the same, but there are always opportunities out there. Sometimes what looks like a failure, is really an opportunity in disguise.

The point is, was it really worth it to get really nasty (if the allegations are true) when there are so many other opportunities out there? No, of course it wasn’t. If someone doesn’t want to do something for you or with you, then that should be your motivation to get better at whatever it is you do. Crush them with revenge. But not negative or evil revenge, the best revenge is success.

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