From time to time, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) family commitments have caused him some political troubles, but this story is likely to leave a mark.

Gov. Chris Christie arrived at his son’s baseball game this afternoon aboard a State Police helicopter.

Right before the lineup cards were being exchanged on the field, a noise from above distracted the spectators as the 55-foot long helicopter buzzed over trees in left field, circled the outfield and landed in an adjacent football field. Christie disembarked from the helicopter and got into a black car with tinted windows that drove him about a 100 yards to the baseball field.

Yep, Christie not only used a state helicopter to catch a high school baseball game, he also had a car waiting for him to drive him 100 yards to the field.

I suppose one could make the argument that the governor really enjoys high school baseball and wants to show support for his son, so Christie went above and beyond to be there. Of course, that would be a little more compelling if the governor didn’t leave half-way through the game.

During the 5th inning, Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie got into the car, rode back to the helicopter and left the game. During a pitching change, play was stopped for a couple of minutes while the helicopter took off.

Why’d Christie leave? Because he had a meeting with a bunch of wealthy Iowans who were in town to tell the governor how much they love him and want him to run for president.

As for the chopper, it’s one of two $12.5 million helicopters purchased for the state police. The intention was to use them for “homeland security duties and transporting critically injured patients.”

Christie, it appears, has added a new purpose for the aircraft.

Update: I’m reminded that Christie has a long track record of being wasteful with public funds.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.