Dear Iowa Caucus Voters,
While stumping in your great state for Mitt Romney on Thursday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie threatened to come back 'Jersey-style' “if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do”. Frankly, I’m appalled.
If by ‘Jersey-style’ he meant the genius of Thomas Edison or Albert Einstein; the literary eloquence of Toni Morrison or Walt Whitman; or the musical chops of Count Basie or Bruce Springsteen (New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees all), then you have much to look forward to. They, and dozens of others who have left their creative, athletic, academic, political and social marks not only on this state, but the world, have given New Jersey, known as much for its foul smelling garbage dump/oil refinery/turnpike corridor as its world class tomatoes and corn, much of which to be proud. But I don’t think that’s what the governor had in mind.
I’m sure he was referring to the other ‘Jersey-style’: the stuff of which Tony Soprano is made. Yea, that New Jersey—where everybody’s a 'cafone', and damned proud of it. I find it reprehensible that the leader of this state would call on the stereotype of the narcissistic sociopaths portrayed on ‘The Sopranos’—the very people that he as a federal prosecutor would no doubt have gone after—as an example of The Garden State. (For the record, I’m half Sicilian and I loved ‘The Sopranos’—as entertainment, not as a how-to for Jersey living.)
While New Jersey can certainly stake its claim to Mafia history, I expect much more of my elected officials. I want my politicians to be politically correct. They can be straight forward and direct, but that should never include bullying, name calling, bashing of women, and possibly worst of all: belittling a senior citizen whose hands were visibly shaking as he stood at a Nutley town hall meeting and asked the governor a reasonable question in a respectful tone of voice (incidentally, the video of this exchange appears to be missing from the governor's You Tube channel).
Political talking heads from coast to coast are buzzing about the possibility of a Romney-Christie ticket. While that may bode well for New Jersey should he be elected (we’d be rid of him), I fear for the rest of the country and the world. There are too many despots with their finger poised above the launch button that would not take kindly to the governor’s insistence that the press ‘take a bat out on’ them.
And so, dear Iowans, do be careful who you vote for on Tuesday. You may just get him.