Just a few weeks ago, Chris Christie was still riding high off well-received response to the devastation in his state of an awful hurricane that destroyed the shore of New Jersey, which is both a source of revenue for the state and hundreds of small businesses, and also its emotional heart. The Jersey Shore, where rain and wind left families homeless, boardwalks ripped and a summer showplace needing to recover. To anybody watching him on TV, his pitch was perfect then. He was sleepless governor, rushing to comfort old ladies and scared little kids, too busy to change out of his storm fleece, an equal measure of get-it-done
determination, promises, and real empathy.
This is the kind of thing you can build a White House run on, and he was well on his way to doing that. And then came complaints from some of those same Sandy victims, evidence that Sandy funds were diverted away from qualifying families, discrimination was in play. And thereafter, emails and texts that tied scandals right into his inner office.
Yesterday, Christie returned to comfortable ground with his first town hall since watching his poll numbers plummet. Covering it, New York Times and Charles Stile both picked up the same