Star-Ledger Editorial Board September 4, 2013 1:29:20 PM EDT
Gov. Chris Christie spent $2 million extra for a publicity campaign that promised to make him the star of TV commercials promoting the Shore.
Ed Murray/The Star-Ledger
In a daring political stroke, Gov. Chris Christie is making a strategic pitch to capture the obese vote in New Jersey.
The strategy is designed to make fat people mad at state Sen. Barbara Buono by claiming that she poked fun at the governor’s weight.
“For me and for other folks across New Jersey – many folks – who are challenged by their weight, the fact that someone running for governorwould make derisive comments about someone’s physical appearance is really beneath the office she is seeking. I’m disappointed that she’s done it.”
The catch is this: Buono (D-Middlesex) did no such thing. This is a fake tantrum, a ploy that is so cynical you almost have to admire it.
The offending comment came during a Buono speech when she criticized the governor for making himself the star of a $25 million ad campaign that is supposed to encourage visits to the Shore.
Here’s what she said: “I don’t know about you, but seeing Chris Christiefrolicking on the beach is not going to drive me to go to the Shore.”
That’s it. You may have expected a reference to the governor’s weight, to his Lap-Band surgery, or to the jelly doughnuts he wolfed down with David Letterman.
Buono, unlike Letterman, has never criticized the governor over his weight. She was objecting to his shameless self-promotion in the TV campaign, and the fact that the governor’s team agreed to pay $2 million extra for a campaign that ensured the governor would personally appear in the advertisements.
That kind of self-promotion by a governor is illegal in some states, includingNew York. And remember, to pay for it the governor dipped into a pot of money earmarked for Sandy victims, many of whom remain in desperate shape.
It was special to hear the governor say that Buono’s comments are “beneath the office she is seeking.” This is a guy who loves to roll in the mud, who calls his critics numbnuts, liars and idiots.
Who knew he could be so thin-skinned himself?