the interests of full disclosure, I am a native of New Jersey, a
registered Republican, and I want Governor Chris Christie to run for
president. It's the best way to get him out of the state.
So I was disappointed that in his much anticipated address to the
nation in Simi, Calif., the other night he didn't announce he was
running for president. Or even jogging. That at least would help his
weight problem, which we heard all about when he went to the hospital
from the office one day for shortness of breath.
Instead he chose to expound on what a helluva job the state's
governor was doing in cracking down on unions and cutting spending. He
has done such a good job of ignoring the aging and sagging system of
decayed bridges, a friend of mine who lives near the Governor's Mansion
told me he waits every Sunday for the governor and his entourage to
drive over the bridge down his street, proving the infrastructure is in
no need of additional investment.
Rumor also has it that we have a lieutenant governor. But no one has
seen him or her since the election, such is the swath the political
heavyweight Christie cuts in our state. Given his anger management, and
weight reduction issues, that is risky governance.
In his latest good deed, the Governor stunned the people of the Garden State last week by vetoing the $420,000 tax credit for Jersey Shore,
known in Trenton as "the Snooki subsidy." That tells Tea Party budget
cutters and the moral religious right where he stands on family values.
I still haven't gotten around to watching Jersey Shore, now
in its fourth season. My wife actually thinks it will make me want to
move to the shore. But Ted Kavenu, the TV news producer, told me he had
watched it once. "And I'm sure if Arnold Toynbee had lived to see it, he could have added a 13th book to his celebrated 12-volume study of history."
What puzzled me is why the state was helping fund that program in
the first place. It's very successful. Better we should use the money to
fund struggling local community theatre groups and arts councils.
The governor says he is against the Snooki Subsidy on the grounds the show perpetuates "a negative stereotype."
In the old days everybody from New Jersey was in the Soprano family.
So now it's Snooki, the Situation, and fist pumping in da club all
What is woise?
Of course, it would be better if the state's name were associated with a high-tech pharmaceutical company such as Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK), or perhaps the Anheuser-Busch
brewery, whose winged neon horse can be seen on the way to Newark
Airport. Or how about associating New Jersey with Bedminster and riding
to the hounds, or Philip Roth and Princeton, or the Anointed One, Bruce
And speaking of the state's image, there is the governor. Some say
he is charismatic, others that he is a loudmouth, mean-spirited, bully,
always yelling and vindictive. One of his (former) allies told the press
that he "wanted to punch him in his head."
But that's politics, New Jersey-style.
Can you imagine President Christie conducting international relations?
The big fear for those of us in the Draft Christie for President
Movement is that he will run into the Taft Curse. There hasn't been a
fat president since William Howard Taft (1907-1911). And Taft was fat.
When he was Civil Governor of the Philippines, Taft cabled Elihu Root that he had just ridden 25 miles into the jungle on horseback. Root cabled back, "How is the horse?"
At 307 pounds, after his election, Taft got stuck in the White House
bathtub. A famous photo op of the period showed four plumbers sitting in
the new, larger bathtub they subsequently installed.
If the tub fits...
The Taft tub is still in storage, Gov. Christie will be pleased to hear.
Damn the delicate antique furniture. Run, Chris, Run. It will be good for the state you love.