It was yesterday, October 29, in the shore town of Belmar, New Jersey, where Governor Chris Christie had come to commemorate the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Former Asbury Park city councilman James Keady, holding a sign that read, “Stay in NJ. Finish the job,” interrupted the governor to ask about his miserable record on Sandy relief.
My favorite line isn’t “Sit down and shut up!” It’s the more creative “I’ve been here when the cameras aren’t here, buddy, and done the work!”
Or maybe it’s Christie’s comeback after he offered to debate Keady (“Anytime you like, buddy, anytime, anytime you like”), and Keady said, How about at dinner tonight? Revealing that he’s all bluff and no tuff, Christie shot back: “There’s about a thousand things I’ll do tonight. Going to dinner with you is about number 1,001.”
And do not miss Christie’s wife, Mary Pat, to his left, with that tolerant-spouse-of-an-asshole smile. (The Bruce Braley lookalike standing next to Christie, Belmar mayor Matt Doherty, looks like he’d rather be anywhere else on earth.)
Here are more of Christie’s choice words, from NJ.com:
“I’ll be more than happy to have a debate with you anytime you like, guy, because somebody like you doesn’t know a damn thing about what you’re talking about except to stand up and show off when the cameras are here. I’ve been here when the cameras aren’t here, buddy, and done the work…. Turn around, get your fifteen minutes of fame, and then, maybe, take your jacket off, roll up your sleeves, and do something for the people of this state.”
Keady, who said he is a lifelong resident, continued, “I was here for a month after Sandy, and…”
Christie finished Keady’s sentence for him.
” … and there’s been 23 months since then, when all you’ve been doing is flapping your mouth and not doing anything. So listen, you want to have the conversation later? I’m happy to have it, buddy. But until that time, sit down and shut up.”
Chris Hayes smartly booked Keady for his show last night, where Keady said that of the $1.1 billion allocated to victims of Sandy, “only 20 percent of those dollars have gotten to the people.” He also explained that he took off a month from work to clean up people’s homes and run the clean-up crews. Watch him nail Christie:
OK, let’s give Christie a break: he’s had a rough few days. Kaci Hickox, the nurse he had quarantined against her will, had been kicking his butt public-relations-wise (she’s now out bike-riding in defiance of Governor Paul LePage in Maine); Wisconsin governor Scott Walker had groused that his re-election campaign needed only Christie’s RGA money, and not his presence on the stump); and on Tuesday a Monmouth University poll was released that found 66 percent of Garden State residents are “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with the Sandy relief efforts.
Still, Christie’s outburst in Belmar was even less “presidential,” to put it politely, than his long line of earlier tantrums. So far, only the nice moments of that day have made it to the governor’s YouTube channel.