Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


One of Christie’s flaws “is that he makes enemies and keeps them.”
April 8, 2014 10:14 AM   Subscribe

When Christie was fourteen years old, he heard [now former NJ Governor Thomas] Kean, who was then a member of the state legislature, speak at his junior high school. He told his mother that he wanted to become a politician; she drove him to Kean’s house and told him to knock on the legislator’s door. “Sir, I heard you speak,” he told Kean. “I think I want to get into politics. How do I do it?” Writing for The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza provides an account of Chris Christie's political history from start to Bridgegate.
posted by Going To Maine (29 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Before the bridge scandal, Christie was known as a governor who transcended New Jersey’s reputation for toxic politics and toxic dumps."

Great article, but it don't know that this is entirely accurate. I'm from Jersey originally and was living in Hoboken when the Corzine/Christie election was happening. There was a pervasive rumor that Christie had some nasty skeletons in his closet and was kinda shady but was still leaps and bounds better than Corzine -who lived in an ivory tower down the street on the top floors of the Tea Building....so let's just give this other guy a shot, warts and all.

He came across then, as he does now, as a no nonsense Jersey bully, but able to get things done, and though I don't love him, I'm astounded he is such a nationwide talking point out-shining even Cory Booker (swooooon).
posted by BlerpityBloop at 10:32 AM on April 8 [2 favorites]


Joy Behar roasting Chris Christie: not normally a big fan of hers, but this guy has NO sense of humor.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:34 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


Interesting how the media seems to be picking up on this Bush v. Christie thing this week. Slow news month?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:42 AM on April 8


When Christie’s position as the starting catcher on the high-school baseball team was threatened by a transfer student, Christie and his father briefly considered taking action to block the student’s enrollment. Christie was benched for most of the season.

Wow. We've come a long way from "I cannot tell a lie, father. I chopped down your cherry tree."
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:42 AM on April 8 [5 favorites]


BlerpityBloop: "He came across then, as he does now, as a no nonsense Jersey bully, but able to get things done, and though I don't love him, I'm astounded he is such a nationwide talking point out-shining even Cory Booker (swooooon)."

Part of the adoration may come from the fact that New Jersey has literally not had a decent governor in my lifetime.

Christie is a corrupt bully (and anybody who's looked closely enough knows this), but at the very least, he showed initiative, and somehow managed to connect with the electorate.

He is resoundingly unfit to hold public office, but the bar for being a successful governor in New Jersey is set ridiculously low.
posted by schmod at 10:58 AM on April 8 [4 favorites]


"Before the bridge scandal, Christie was known as a governor who transcended New Jersey’s reputation for toxic politics and toxic dumps."

Great article, but it don't know that this is entirely accurate.


Outside of New Jersey (and maybe New York City and Philadelphia), this is totally accurate. The national narrative on Christie was that he was super centrist and willing to set aside politics to make things happen (viz. Sandy relief and standing next to Obama). Mind you, the rest of the country had no idea who Corzine was or basically anything else about Christie, but he was definitely being positioned as the transcendent apolitical politician.
posted by Etrigan at 11:01 AM on April 8


As a student, Christie had expressed shame at the corruption of state politicians. As an investigator, he rooted it out with a heavy hand. In April, 2006, a con artist named Solomon Dwek was arrested for trying to cash a fraudulent twenty-five-million-dollar check at a drive-through bank window. In return for a lighter sentence, Dwek’s lawyer offered to make Dwek a confidential informant for Christie...

A fraudulent $25M check at a bank window? That crime doesn't even make Dwek's Wikipedia page.
posted by readery at 11:13 AM on April 8


Now that Jeb is prepositioning and said something positive about Christie, attention seems to be refocusing on Christie.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:15 AM on April 8


Christie is done - stick a fork in him.

He may or may not have beed directly responsible for bridge-gate, but that uncovered all of his wheeling and dealing which makes it very hard for him to continue the charade of being the straight shooter who can rise above politics. He is shown to roll in the mud with the best of the swine.
posted by caddis at 11:19 AM on April 8


It's funny how everyone west of Philadelphia is learning that The Sopranos wasn't actually entirely fiction. Which is good. A New Jersey/Philly/New York politician should never be a national figure - except as a caricature for thuggish politics. Good riddance Chris Christie. He could never have been a serious candidate for president and best to be rid of him before the rest of the country figured that out. His departure is a good thing for the GOP who shouldn't waste their time with candidates from the tri state area. Chris Matthews and the rest of team Mrs. Clinton have done the GOP a big favor.
posted by three blind mice at 11:21 AM on April 8 [3 favorites]


When Christie was fourteen years old ... his mother ... drove him to Kean’s house and told him to knock on the legislator’s door. “Sir, I heard you speak,” he told Kean. “I think I want to get into politics. How do I do it?”

When I was that age, the truly important things in life were The Empire Strikes Back and Eat To The Beat, so pardon me if I suspect that he was actually trying to sell subscriptions to Grit.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:21 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


When Christie’s position as the starting catcher on the high-school baseball team was threatened by a transfer student, Christie and his father briefly considered taking action to block the student’s enrollment. Christie was benched for most of the season.
Wow. We've come a long way from "I cannot tell a lie, father. I chopped down your cherry tree."
I remember reading a biographical piece on Christie wherein one of his high school friends -- or maybe even the coach of the baseball team? -- told this story as if it were a big positive for demonstrating his moral fiber. Like, "Oh, that Christie, what a guy, he could have sued to stop another kid from being allowed to attend school, but he decided not to!"

I'm pretty sure the guy said something along the lines "I don't know if I could've made a tough decision like that."
posted by Flunkie at 11:21 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


It doesn't even seem like trying to cash at $25 Million check at a drive though window should be a crime to do time for. More like something you get pointed at and mocked for perhaps, your name and photo put in the paper as idiot of the week and perhaps a quick drug test to check if you're high on crack, it just doesn't seem like something to take seriously.
posted by edgeways at 11:22 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


It's funny how everyone west of Philadelphia is learning that The Sopranos wasn't actually entirely fiction. Which is good. A New Jersey/Philly/New York politician should never be a national figure - except as a caricature for thuggish politics.

And what geographic area do the good and pure politicians come from, exactly?
posted by clockzero at 11:25 AM on April 8 [2 favorites]


It's funny how everyone west of Philadelphia is learning that The Sopranos wasn't actually entirely fiction. Which is good. A New Jersey/Philly/New York politician should never be a national figure - except as a caricature for thuggish politics.
Absolutely. I heard Cory Booker personally broke three fingers on Rush Holt's granddaughter's left hand. "Next time you run against me," he said, "it's the right hand. And you don't want to find out what happens the third time, Holt."
posted by Flunkie at 11:27 AM on April 8 [3 favorites]


"And what geographic area do the good and pure politicians come from, exactly?"

Louisiana, mostly.
posted by komara at 11:29 AM on April 8


And what geographic area do the good and pure politicians come from, exactly?

Same place good and pure people come from.

Politicians are people and people are messy and fit themselves to the system and expectations of the system they engage with. I content that politicans-in-gneeral are no more or less corrupt then any random one of us.
You could likely take the most idealistic and honest person ever and put them into just about any political system and you will end up with either an inefficient person unable to accomplish anything or someone who adapts to the humanness of the system. If NJ is unable to get a good Governor i'd be willing to bet that is because in order to do their job they adapt themselves to the system that is there. Not saying Christie is a good guy, he well may be worse than most in certain ways.
posted by edgeways at 11:33 AM on April 8


Good Politicians Are From Mars, Bad Politicians Are From Venus
posted by spicynuts at 11:36 AM on April 8 [3 favorites]


Good Politicians Are From Mars, Bad Politicians Are From Venus

I can't believe you passed up the Uranus joke.
posted by aught at 11:51 AM on April 8 [4 favorites]


It's hard to believe Jersey isn't just a little bit special when it comes to corruption when you have two different unelected political bosses openly talking about the voting blocks in the state legislature that they personally control in TFA.
posted by Diablevert at 12:01 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


Wow. We've come a long way from "I cannot tell a lie, father. I chopped down your cherry tree."

man you know that didn't actually happen right? george washington was a slave owner ffs
posted by p3on at 12:58 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


I'm still wondering how you see the structure of the bridge fiasco and come to the conclusion that he wasn't involved.

I mean, sure, there's a cut out. But when you find a cut out between a ruthless bully and something that went colossally wrong, it means that he's involved. I'm not saying it's "beyond a shadow of a doubt", but it should be enough to render him un-electable.
posted by atbash at 1:22 PM on April 8


man you know that didn't actually happen right? george washington was a slave owner ffs

Thanks, Professor Zinn! I suppose next you'll tell me Washington didn't actually hurl a silver dollar across the Potomac?

My point wasn't that Washington ROOLZ, Christie DROOLZ. I was simply highlighting the fact that our standards for what constitutes honorable behavior in a candidate have really gone downhill if the fact that, as Flunkie wrote: "Oh, that Christie, what a guy, he could have sued to stop another kid from being allowed to attend school, but he decided not to!" is being touted by his supporters as evidence of Christie's high moral fiber.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:27 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


Ugh. Sorry about the excessive snark, p3on. Please ignore the first part of my response.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:34 PM on April 8


"When I was that age ... I suspect that he was actually trying to sell subscriptions to Grit."

When I was that age I volunteered on Saturdays for Jimmy Carter's reelection campaign. A 14 yr-old typing form letters into a mag card machine for Hamilton Jordan. Yep.
posted by surplus at 5:39 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


A New Jersey/Philly/New York politician should never be a national figure - except as a caricature for thuggish politics.

TBM, as a person born and bred in Bergen County, NJ, I heartily invite - no, encourage - you to shut your Goddamn trap.

Fucking assholes complaining about Jersey and thinking their state has politicos with clean hearts and clean hands are so delusional it makes me wonder where they buy their drugs in such purity.
posted by mephron at 9:47 AM on April 9


Definitely worth watching the comedian roast scene from this article, which Ryan Lizza posted on Youtube. It's hard to believe that Christie has such thin skin that he goes to a roast and cannot handle a few one liners at his expense.

He's clearly trying to pass his strong-arming of Behar off as 'jokey,' by grinning as he does it. But it's equally clearly not jokey at all. Look at the way he keeps getting up, lurching at her, and then sitting down and taking huge drinks of water. This guy is right at the edge of physical violence against a woman a quarter of his size, in front of an audience.
posted by jackbrown at 2:32 PM on April 9


In Interview Notes We Trust
posted by homunculus at 6:37 PM on April 9


Does Christie remind anyone else of Rob Ford here?
posted by caddis at 7:22 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


« Older "Naturally, the record for the largest and most co...  |  36 variant covers of the upcom... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments