Snow Politics

Filed in National by on December 28, 2010

Snow storms can have a big effect on politics. Big snow storms can cause all kinds of problems – like travel disruptions and power outages and can take a while to clean out from if the weather stays cold. It’s the type of crisis where people like to see their politicians out and responding to emergencies. That’s why Chris Christie’s decision to go on vacation to Disney World on Sunday is puzzling.

A Democratic lawmaker is questioning why both Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno are out of state at the same time, leaving Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) as the state’s acting governor during a blizzard that paralyzed the state.

“We clearly made a mistake if we created the office lieutenant governor and wasted money if the lieutenant governor is not going to be here when the governor is out of state,” said state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union). “It’s being handled very well by Sen. Sweeney, but you have to really question the purpose of the office.”

Christie in on vacation with his family at Disney World in Florida, while Guadagno is with her family in Mexico, Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said. Sunday, hours after taking the oath to become acting governor, Sweeney declared a state of emergency.

That’s right – both the governor and the newly-created lt governor are on vacation while the State Senate President runs the state response. Contrast Christie’s indifference with that of Newark Mayor Cory Booker. People on Twitter have started calling Booker “Superman.” He’s been personally responding emergencies in the city – delivering diapers to a mother who can’t leave her house, shoveling streets, and waiting for emergency responders for a mother in labor.

I know Christie is a rising star in conservative and media circles but his indifference to the plight of everyday New Jerseyans during the storm sure puts his bullying You Tube videos in perspective, doesn’t it? Chris Christie doesn’t care about New Jerseyans. I don’t know how he could make it any clearer.

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Comments (14)

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  1. pandora says:

    The optics for this are bad for Christie. It also lends itself to a perfect political ad:

    Hey, governor! Now that there’s a blizzard bearing down on your state, what are you going to do?

    I’m going to Disney World!

    Sheesh, why didn’t he simply send his family to Florida and join them a day later? He’s also going to have trouble painting Dems as incompetent since he had no problem leaving one in charge during an emergency.

  2. meatball says:

    well…Disney is really, really nice this time of year. Still all decorated for xmas. But also really crowded. If I were Christie, I would have gone earlier in December, same xmas magic, less crowds.

    It seems I remember criticism of our own governor during last years snowgasm for this same thing (except he was on a working trip).

  3. Markell did have his staff responding to the storm through social media, plus the storm was unexpected. The complaints died down quickly for Markell. We’ll have to wait and see if the same happens with Christie. One thing I’d like to add is that those public employees Christie rails against are the ones responding to the storm. They have to work during the emergency. I guess Christie doesn’t think the same rules apply to him.

  4. Dirty Girl says:

    @UI – you have that right – altho I do still hear Conservstive whine about how Markell abandoned the state during a storm – and a severe one at tht – my feelinga are ig the stte cannot function in this modern age of phones and the web – then we really have problems!

    But Christie is trying to pull the rug out from under public employees on their pension-yet public employess are who gos out in this bad weather –
    we’ll see what happens

  5. Ishmael says:

    Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, as well as Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno, also a Republican, “were on vacation at the same time,” leaving state Senate President Steve Sweeney – a Democrat – as the state’s Acting Governor.

    The real scandal is that he left a democrat in charge!

  6. Polemical says:

    Duh! What tripe! What is Christie suppossed to do? Shovel the roads himself? He has a whole administration to take care of NJ for a few days. If a governor or other high-office official can’t travel on business or pleasure once in a while, then our entire government system is flawed.

    How about Obama in Hawaii? It’s the same argument. He’s been on vacation more than most recent presidents; especially during one of the most horrific 20 months in recent memory. Heck, he’s played more golf last year than Tiger Woods! Martha’s Vineyard, N. Carolina retreat, Hawaii (1st trip), Maine, etc.

    And like nearly every other snowstorm we get, the media gets hysterical and always overreport the situation. When mother nature shuts down airports, one must patiently wait for the weather to subside. Let’s blame Christie because he’s seen as the most dynamic elected leader in the US right now.

  7. Capt.Willard says:

    @ Polemical- He’s not dynamic, he’s gigantic.
    He would devour your flesh before consuming tripe.
    Don’t believe me?
    Get on a life-boat with him with no food for 24 hours. You, him and a bucket of intestines.
    Oh his golden tongue will have a fancy tale of your disappearance.

  8. V says:

    “He’s been on vacation more than most recent presidents”

    you’re kidding right?

    Bush took like, a whole year off total during his presidency.

    I actually don’t have a prob that Christie was on vacation. I DO have a problem that he and his Lt. were out at the same time. Even I know that my boss doesn’t like me to take vacation the same week he does, in case something “comes up”

  9. Polemical says:

    I knew about the story. It’s dated. It’s nearly one year old; thus, Obama has taken another 28 days off since the Jan. 11, 2010 article for a total of 54 days.

    I know all about Annenberg Center for Communication and FactCheck. I did graduate studies at Annenberg from 2000 to 2004.

    The bottom line is, during one of the most tumultuous 20 months in recent history, Obama did a lot of R&R. Heck, I’d love it if he went on vacation more. He wouldn’t be around the WH to make things worse. Btw, the Politico article about Obama’s 2011 strategy (via Valerie Jarrett) ‘to get out more and meet the folks’ is NOT what we need.

    He needs to hunker down and work on job creation strategies. He’s promised this each major speech he’s made since taking office. “It’s my No. 1 priority,” said Obama in his SOTU address. He kept saying it, but never pivoted to his own rhetoric. He said it again during his press conference at the WH briefing room after the tax cut compromise earlier in the month.

    Show me, don’t tell me.

  10. Jefferson says:

    As V said, the problem is BOTH the governor and lt. gov. were gone during a situation that called for a declaration of a state of emergency. Guadagno–the first LG in NJ history–abdicated the primary role of a lieutenant governor.

    The contrast between Mayor Booker, a likely candidate for governor in 2012, and Gov. Christie could not be more stark…

  11. Capt.Willard says:

    If you handed “Never Missed a Meal” Christy a snow shovel he’d go looking for a big pile of mashed potatoes to dig into or suffer a myocardial infarction at the mere thought of physical labor.

  12. Geezer says:

    Willard: Would it make any difference if Christie were thin?

  13. anon says:

    Christie will get rid of all the snow if they put enough gravy on it.

  14. V says:

    I think making fun of Christie’s weight just makes us look mean spirited and feeds into R’s stereotypes of us as elitist assholes. There’s PLENTY of substantive stuff to make fun of him for.

    As funny as it is, let’s leave the Governor of Sandwiches (re: Gawker) alone on this one.