New Jersey's Chris Christie is America's rock and roll governor. The man has undeniable star power. The media-friendly quality used to be known as "charisma." No more. Now, we label everything according to its value in the media, right? In this multimedia, 24/7 news-cycle world of ours, today we call it star power.
Christie is certainly one of America's shrewdest and most resourceful politicians. Whether you like or loathe him, you have to concede that he is someone who will do whatever it takes to keep his name in our minds and present his persona in new and adventurous ways (to say the least). It's impossible to avoid Chris Christie.
Yes, he will from now on always be resented, even despised, by many Republicans who regard Christie as a traitor to them. He brazenly patrolled Hurricane Sandy-ravaged New Jersey in the close proximity of his new BFF, President Barack Obama — at a time when the incumbent was trying very hard to close the door on the challenger Mitt Romney in the very late stages of the 2012 presidential campaign.
Then, Christie had the utter chutzpah to trumpet Obama's competence to the nation. Many observers fell over themselves to praise Christie for having the courage to cross party lines and compliment his party's foe.
Of course, Christie probably also sensed that Obama was going to win the election, like many Republicans privately acknowledged at the very end of the campaigning. Therefore, there was really very little downside for Christie to side with a big winner. Besides, he got a lot of TV time and headline ink for his move. Savvy politician.
Christie was the unannounced star of the recent 12/12/12 benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, held at Madison Square Garden. Even though the gala show ran about six hours, Christie emerged as arguably the biggest winner. Early on, when the television cameras panned the audience, Christie got his fair share of TV time (as did his New York counterpart, Gov. Andrew Cuomo).
Christie was effectively rewarded for his recognizability and — dare I say it — popularity. You wouldn't expect to see a Republican governor get a lot of applause at a rock 'n' roll benefit, because this is usually the venue of choice of Democrats such as former president Bill Clinton. Christie, however, is emerging as America's bipartisan darling politician, regardless of what people think of his political beliefs. The man has star power.
All hail Chris Christie, America's rock 'n' roll governor. He understands how to work the crowd, anywhere.
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column . He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers, and Creating a Personal Revolution."
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column. He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers and Creating a Personal Revolution. Click here to order a copy. Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.
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