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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

A look at one of the key Senate races: Sen. Mitch McConnell vs. Alison Lundergan Grimes.

A look at one of the key Senate races: Sen. Mitch McConnell vs. Alison Lundergan Grimes.

January 9th, 2014
06:51 PM ET

How damaging is bridgegate to Christie's political ambitions?

(CNN) - Maybe the only word New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said more than "apologize" and "sorry" during his news conference Thursday was "sad."

He was sad that some of his closest aides had lied to him, sad that they had conspired to snarl traffic leading to the world's busiest bridge, sad that they did this out of a high-school-like motivation for revenge at a mostly invisible slight.

Christie told reporters he hadn't "gotten to the angry stage yet."

But with this controversy feeding into the notion that the New Jersey governor might be a bully - accusations he repeatedly and forcefully denied today - will Christie still be the brash, matter-of-fact politician going forward? Or will he have to distance himself from the image that fueled his rise to national prominence?

WNYC and New Jersey public radio Matt Katz, New Yorker correspondent and CNN political commentator Ryan Lizza, and reporter for The Atlantic Molly Ball discuss.

Check out the second half of our politics panel here, or by clicking the video below.

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