Did Christie Get a Free Get-Out-of-Blizzard Card?

BY  |  Tuesday, Jan 04, 2011 12:58pm  |  COMMENTS (30)

The Star Ledger’s Kathleen O’Brien, who often writes on mommy issues, has an interesting column today about Chris Christie’s explanation of why he was away for the Boxing Day Blizzard.

“I made a promise to my children that at the end of my first year as governor that I was going to take them to Disney World the week between Christmas and New Year’s,” Christie said at a news conference. “My first and most important responsibility in my view is as a husband and a father.” He also said at one point that his wife warned him in no uncertain terms that he shouldn’t even think of canceling.

Well sure. But, as O’Brien points out, quoting former GOP governor Christie Todd Whitman, that wouldn’t fly for a lady governor. What do you think? Take the Baristanet poll after the jump.


  1. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  January 04, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

    At least he didn’t tear up like Boehner. Now there’s a double standard.

  2. POSTED BY Nellie  |  January 04, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

    I’ll bet he would have come back for a Blizzard from Dairy Queen…or two…

  3. POSTED BY herbeverschmel  |  January 04, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

    Of course there is a double standard and its not male or female. It’s both parties playing this ridiculous game. The people that are criticizing CC for taking his family on vacation are the same people that jumped to the defense of Obama when he took his wife to NYC for Broadway show on a campaign promise ‘date night’. The man wants a date night with his wife. As long as its not too costly on the taxpayer.

    Doesn’t matter if your male / female it only comes down to party affiliation and both parties make fools of themselves pointing the finger at such an inane issue. Vacation is a vacation regardless when they take is their business. Heck, if he takes it during the fall and its a hurricane, his detractors will complain. This is such a non-issue regardless of who is taking it.

  4. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  January 04, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

    Herb: You said it better than I could. At any rate, what could he have done if he HAD come back early? Make it stop snowing? At least he didn’t ask them to remove the coconuts from the trees at Disney.

  5. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  January 04, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

    I don’t think its a non-issue at all, herb. People have a right to expect their leaders to be in the forefront, leading, when disaster strikes. Giulani did not leave NYc after 9/11. Bush, after initially allowing himself to be talked into a retreat by the Secret Service, correctly gauged the public’s mood and put himself out in front, visible to people. He, and Obama after him, went to Afghanistan to be seen by troops. Of course no one expected either of them to take a post, but the act of being there and showing that visible presence is important.

    The comparison with Obama is silly. He is the president of the United States, and he was in New York which is, despite the wishes of many right-wing types, still part of the United States.

    Christie should have been here. If he could not get here, he should have made television or radio statements about the situation and let people know what the response was going to be. He did not even call Sweeney once while away.

    If you can defend this, I guess you can defend anything.

  6. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  January 04, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    MM, the coconuts were removed from trees surrounding Mani Bhavan in Mumbai on the orders of the museum’s director, not at the request of the Obama staff or the Secret Service.

    Perhaps you picked up that fact at the same place you learned that “this administration” wants to end mortgage deductions.

  7. POSTED BY Nellie  |  January 04, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    I think the unfortunate issue is that the governor and lieutenant governor were away at the same time…If one of them had returned to the state, the criticism might not have been so severe.

    I do give Christie credit for addressing the criticism head-on, as he deals with most issues, whether or not they are unpleasant.

    Nest time, maybe he’ll put Snow before Snow White.

  8. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  January 04, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    The converse of this argument is that Bloomberg WAS in New York during the snowstorm and his administration, rightfully so, took a lot of flack.

    And comparing a blizzard to 9-11? Surely, you jest.

  9. POSTED BY hrhppg  |  January 04, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    “The people that are criticizing CC for taking his family on vacation are the same people that jumped to the defense of Obama when he took his wife to NYC for Broadway show on a campaign promise ‘date night’.”

    No the same people aren’t ….

    The concern isn’t that one man took vacation – it is that the top 2 executives of this state both took vacations at the same time.

    That is bad business.

    If there had been anthrax falling it would be an HUGE deal that they were both gone and yes it is their jobs to make sure someone with decision making ability was at the helm.

  10. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  January 04, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    Both 9/11 and the blizzard were disasters, and both called for strong leadership and a public face for that leadership. No one would argue that the blizzard was as catastrophic as 9/11, but isn’t it interesting that Giulani COULD stay through a catastrophe far worse than the one Christie could not “attend”?

    Bloomberg is receiving plenty of criticism for the city’s response. Rightfully so. It is not his job, nor Christie’s, to avoid criticism. Bloomberg would have received a good deal more had had he jetted off to Bermuda. But he did not, because he’s smarter than that.

  11. POSTED BY kay  |  January 04, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

    MM is right – it’s not like he was going to hop in a bulldozer himself and plow us out of that mess.

    Although it would be nice if he’d come out and do that NOW, here in the New and Improved downtown Newark, where people who want to go to the PAC or the Rock can’t get where they’re going since half of the lanes apparently weren’t even attempted nor salted. Heck, if they’d let me, I’d take out a Bobcat and do it myself (always wanted to drive one of those!)

  12. POSTED BY Kevin57  |  January 04, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    I don’t think it is an issue whether he was in the State or not. Certainly he was reachable and Senate President Sweeney was left in charge and did a good job.However,I do agree with Ms. Obrien that a woman governor wouldn’t get away with stating family responsibility as a priority.

  13. POSTED BY herbeverschmel  |  January 04, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

    Cro, If it were a Democrat you’d be singing a different song. The Lt. Gov. was already out of town due to her father and CC was leaving that morning for vacation. Granted the eastern most area of the state got hammered, west jersey got about 6-10 inches and some areas had as little as 3 inches. Hardly a reason for the Governor to stay home from a family vacation. To even remotely compare Giuliani and 9/11 to CC and a blizzard shows that you have unfortunately forgotten the magnitude of that day or simply a blind CC hater.

  14. POSTED BY Kevin57  |  January 04, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    Perhaps Gov. Rendell was right that we are becoming a “nation of wussies” when a two foot snowstorm qualifies as a disaster.

  15. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  January 04, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

    A two-foot snowstorm in Minneapolis, Syracuse or Denver is just another day at the office.

    The bottowm line is that if you’re already hatin’ on CC, you’re going to find fault with anything he does, even if he were to vacation in Atlantic City and stay at one of the $60-a-night motels on Route 40.

  16. POSTED BY bebopgun  |  January 04, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

    Bloomberg’s too cool for Disney. All CC had to do was appear a little humbled by what happened and take some responsibility for the mess that many state roads were left in. Instead CC lays the blame on municipalities and the whole ‘let them eat cake’ message takes over.

    Good thing the Lt Governor was around to take the bull by the horns…

  17. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  January 04, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

    If Christie were a Democrat I’d say exactly the same thing. His party has nothing to do with it. As for being a CC hater, as a matter of fact I voted for him. I am not happy with his performance to date, but a hater? Hardly.

    And I have certainly not forgotten the magnitude of 9/11. However, in times of disaster leaders step up. That is what being a leader is all about. A leader doesn’t say, “well, its not as bad as 9/11 so I guess I’ll go’. He, or she, steps up. This governor hid for 5 days in Florida, lied about being in touch with Sweeney, and returned to attack those who questioned him.

    You go right ahead and defend him though. While telling others that they’re “blind”, of course.

  18. POSTED BY herbeverschmel  |  January 04, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

    “Good thing the Lt Governor was around to take the bull by the horns…”

    The Lt Governor was with her father suffering with Stage 1V

  19. POSTED BY pete  |  January 04, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

    CC was right to stay on vacation. The state seemed to do pretty good at keeping major roads in shape. Most of the screwups seemed to be at the local/town level.
    As far as double standard maybe he could claim to be a “Gay American” & be both man & women at the same time.

  20. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  January 04, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    Right, pete. All of those “local” roads like Route 138, Routes 33,34,35,36. And let’s not forget Route 18, which had a 10 mile stretch closed for 3 days.
    Local problems, clearly.

    Your sophisticated understanding of the nature of homosexuality is perhaps to be expected from one so woefully uninformed.

  21. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  January 04, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    I didn’t vote for the Guv, ( I think I had to pull two levers to do so, one for each half of him, and I found that questionable).
    Nevertheless, I don’t care where he is as long as the state of NJ continues to function properly in a crisis situation.
    Lots of executives stay on top of critical matters from far away places, and do so successfully.

  22. POSTED BY Pork Roll  |  January 04, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

    “My first and most important responsibility in my view is as a husband and a father.”

    I’m sure this justification would resonate deeply with our service men and women (many of whom are husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, etc.) serving around the world, especially those who have served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  23. POSTED BY bebopgun  |  January 04, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

    Nice one Pete. You win for most nonsensical and offensive comment of the day. A twofer.

    I heard about the Lt Gov. That reason alone is why it was the wrong time for CC to go on vacation. Actually showed that we don’t need these clowns. We can run the state into the ground ourselves without them.

  24. POSTED BY tommysalami  |  January 04, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

    The buck stops where?
    He didn’t have to fly home. He could have called Sweeney and made sure he wouldn’t look like a jackass on his flight home.
    It’s an appalling lack of leadership and disrespect to the state, same as Corzine living in the Hamptons and wanting to shut down the state parks because he can fly to the moon for vacation if he so pleases.
    Christie doesn’t care about Jersey people. He cancelled the ARC tunnel because his Wall Street wife said she wouldn’t use the train- his words. Now he won’t call to ensure proper emergency response because she said so.
    If Bill Clinton told Hilary to stay home, she’d catch hell, so why shouldn’t Christie?
    Bloomberg screwed up and he wasn’t even in Disneyland, Christie is getting off easy…

  25. POSTED BY DagT  |  January 04, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

    I don’t think his decision to go on vacation was poor judgement. As pointed out levels of snow accumulation and clean up in the state and counties were very varied. But I must say, for me, his excuse of family first didn’t really ring true. I’m sure if he thought a major disaster was taking place in NJ he would not have left and/or made an effort to return.

  26. POSTED BY commonsense  |  January 05, 2011 @ 9:36 am

    I’m surprised a little with all of the fat jokes. Seems like it’s an acceptable prejudice to have, I guess. Though we do need this guy to drop a few lbs.

  27. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  January 05, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    Why? His weight is his business. He does talk candidly about his weight, by the way, and said he’s tried dieting before and it hasn’t worked. He’s not running for Mr. America so who cares?

  28. POSTED BY commonsense  |  January 05, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    TOTALLY AGREE, Mrs Martta. Was just acknowledging that people seem to take liberty at making fun of it. I’m guessing similar comments about race, sexual orientation, religion, etc., wouldn’t be tolerated. My comment about him dropping a few is purely in the spirit of wanting our public officials to be as healthy as possible. Just like I applaud Obama for quitting smoking (no cigs for 9 months now!).

  29. POSTED BY PAZ  |  January 07, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    What is this obsession with parents wanting to take their kids to Disney World/Land? I see kids on those Continental mouse runs, so young, they will never remember anything years later! Glad Christie could go on a “paid” vacation. Nice luxury!
    Come on kids, let’s watch mommy get groped by Mickey!

  30. POSTED BY PAZ  |  January 08, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

    He probably traveled 1st class too with a monogrammed seatbelt extender.

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