Facts are stubborn things, as the saying goes. But it seems as if in the last year facts are also elusive things, especially in New Jersey under the
monarchy leadership of one Chris Christie. To be fair, Christie is certainly not the first politician to twist facts to suit his narrative, and by golly, I have a sinking feeling he won’t be the last. I’ll go even further and admit that many democrats have been known to gild the lily a time or two. But what makes CC so exasperating is this. He has promoted and perfected this image of himself as a straight-shooter and a guy who will “always tell the truth” to New Jerseyans. It always raises a red flag for me when someone declares themself as something noble. When I was younger and used to waitress, I always winced when one of my customers would say, “don’t worry sweetie-pie, I’m a big tipper…” as they sent me scrambling around the dining room for extra this and more of that. I always loved the, oops I, “fergot to askya for another Long Island Iced Tea hunny, wouldya mind?” which meant the 5th trip to the bar for this clown before I could get to my next table. Oh yeah, about that “big tipper” part? Not so true. Actually, it was usually quite the opposite. Since then, I’ve always cast a doubtful eye on those type of personal boasts. But hey, if Christie tells me he’s a truth-teller, then I have to give him the benefit of the doubt…until he sends me to the bar for that 5th time and then stiffs me. We are there.
The Star-Ledger has done a brief, but fair and eye-opening little survey of CC’s greatest boasts and most of them on the surface seem truthful, but when you dig a little deeper, they are illusionary at best. Christie strikes me as the guy on the corner running the shell game. His slight of hand is genius, because you could have sworn that ball was under the other shell the whole time. Christie runs this shell game on his terms. He’s always on offense, never letting you get a clear look at the game. He switches around those containers with dizzying speed and no matter which cup you pick, that damn ball is never there. After you are quickly down a Benjamin, the game is packed up and moved on.
Christie makes these sound-bite claims which will play well in re-election commercials for 2014. Quite honestly, if the economy in New Jersey and the country at large turns around, as it has been slowly and steadily since August, both he and President Obama will benefit whether either one of them has anything to do with it or not. That said, Christie cannot one one hand claim he is the second coming of Walter Cronkite ( once considered the most trusted man in America), and square up his claims which, when taken in context, are dubious at best. Here’s something else that’s bugging me. I swear I remember waiting on him years ago…he told me he was a big tipper…
- You: Christie’s Talk Is Blunt, but Not Always Straight (nytimes.com)