Tag Archive: The Sopranos

Chris Christie comments on James Gandolfini’s death

Christie’s press operation sent this to reporters this evening:

“It’s an awful shock. James Gandolfini was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy. I was a huge fan of his and the character he played so authentically, Tony Soprano. I have gotten to know Jimmy and many of the other actors in the Sopranos cast and I can say that each of them are an individual New Jersey treasure. Mary Pat and I express our deepest sympathies to Mr. Gandolfini’s wife and children, and our prayers are with them at this terrible time.”

I told Bob Ingle tonight that I’d probably be more interested in what he had to say about Gandolfini’s passing, given that he called the book (and later documentary) he wrote about Jersey politics The Soprano State. Ingle wrote the following on his Facebook:

“When the movie based on our book, “The Soprano State,” premiered in New York, most of the cast of “The Sopranos” sat in the row in front of me, Sandy and our colleagues and families. They also were at the after party at Patsy’s, the Sinatra hangout. Not among us was James Gandolfini because that night he had a premiere elsewhere. Always regretted that, now especially.”

Gandolfini, a 1983 Rutgers grad, lived not too far from me in Tewksbury, Hunterdon County but much closer to former governor Christie Todd Whitman.

Facebook’s been all-Gandolfini for hours. Terrible shame. Rest in Peace.  

Christie’s ‘Jersey Style’ in need of a makeover

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.

Who would’ve thunk it?

Judging by they way that New Jersey is portrayed on popular TV shows The Sopranos, Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of New Jersey, you would think that the state is filled with stereotypical arrogant, obnoxious, thick headed loudmouths with entitlement issues.  Even more so given that our current Governor fits that very description himself – all while being hailed as the latest savior of the Republican Party – and it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that this is a match made in heaven (or hell, depending on your view of Christie, New Jerseyans at large and the stereotypes on the above shows).

Not so fast:

As out-of-state Republicans urge Gov. Chris Christie to seek the party’s presidential nomination next year, a majority of New Jerseyans questioned in a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll made public on Friday say they would not vote to re-elect him as governor in 2013.

Forty-nine percent said they would support another candidate while 42 percent said they would vote for Christie.

(Lest anyone think Corzine was in a similar boat, or “all Governors are like this”, it wasn’t until his final year in office where his ratings turned upside down.)

Maybe it is time to rethink the generalization about real New Jerseyans liking the stereotypical New Jerseyan….