MAYBE CHRISTIE CAN SEND A POSTCARD…. Following up on an item from yesterday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and his lieutenant governor were told Sunday about the blizzard barreling down on the Garden State. Soon after, they left town at the same time, with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) and her family flying to Mexico, and Christie and his family going to Disney World in Florida.
It left state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) in charge as the acting governor, and by all appearances, he’s handling everything fine — he declared a state of emergency, dispatched road crews, coordinated with state agencies, and activated the National Guard. The response seems to have gone fairly well, and Sweeney lifted the state of emergency this morning.
But there’s still the political fallout to consider. Many are questioning why the Christie administration allowed both the governor and lieutenant governor to go on vacation at the same time, despite warnings about the impending storm. Others have noted that the governor isn’t bothering to rush home to deal with the situation.
Sweeny was almost immediately immersed in storm-related issues as the blizzard approached Sunday since Governor Chris Christie and his family left for a Disney vacation in Florida at the same time Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno left on a vacation of her own. Christie plans to return to Trenton Thursday. [emphasis added]
No need to cut short the Disney vacation; the Democrat seems to have everything under control.
Perhaps even more interesting was how Cory Booker spent his day. Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark and likely gubernatorial candidate in 2013, grabbed a shovel to help seniors and the disabled, delivered diapers to a housebound mother, helped dig out a stuck police car, and tended to a woman in labor who was waiting on an EMS team to arrive.
Again, just to clarify, some of this is just unfortunate timing for Christie. The governor and lieutenant governor deserve vacations just like everyone else, and by all appearances, the state response was unaffected by Christie’s and Guadagno’s absence.
But when it comes to keeping up appearances, this doesn’t look great for the New Jersey governor. The vacation scheduling was clearly a mistake; Christie bolted even after being told about the impending blizzard; he’s making no effort to cut short his trip; and Democratic officials are doing all the heavy lifting (sometimes literally) while the governor enjoys some fun in the sun.