However, the odds of his winning the White House in 2016 are not good if he winds up embedded in serious legal problems. After all, America, like the Roman Catholic Church, has a legalistic mindset. And that way of seeing the world is binary: Either a force like Christie is on the right or wrong side of the law. There is no white space in between, at least not for long.
In Politico, Jeff Smith makes a strong case that Christie will get done in by the legal side of Bridgegate, not the public relations or branding matters. Here is the Smith piece. Smith views Christie as toast.
If there are legal problems which result in prison time, sure, Christie can bounce back. Watergate's Chuck Colson found a new career in the slammer: Being a minister. Christie can also put together a new menu of skills and a fresh persona. However, his run in politics per se may be over.
What could be the most fascinating aspect of the Christie saga is what would be The Next after incarceration. The guy is a genius in putting together personas which resonate. A talk show host on Fox could be a smart move, both for the network and for Christie.