Not unlike his counterpart in Wisconsin, Christie has treated public employee unions harshly while sparing the state's rich. But Christie has treated no one better than himself.
His reputation for profligate spending as a U.S. attorney has carried over to the governor's mansion, and as if to emphasize his selfishness at a time when the Garden State is in fiscal crisis, he arrived at his son's baseball game on Tuesday afternoon aboard a spanking new $12.5 million State Police helicopter, which landed in an adjacent football field. Christie disembarked from the helicopter and got into a black car with tinted windows and was driven about 100 yards to be baseball field.
Such ostentation also was the norm at University of Delaware football games last season. Both Christie and Vice President Biden are graduates, but while Biden shows up in a single SUV with two or three Secret Service agents, Christie has a four-vehicle motorcade with motorcycle escorts.
A spokesman for the governor said use of the helicopter was necessary because of his busy schedule, but that schedule showed only a single meeting for Tuesday -- a sitdown with a group of Iowa donors who want him to run for president in 2012.
That is probably a non-starter. Besides which, the media scrutiny would undermine any campaign the notoriously short-tempered Christie would mount.
Christie has proved to be adept at talking out of both sides of his mouth.
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled late last month that the state must provide $500 million in additional funding to its 31 poorest urban school districts, all of which had seen their budgets slashed under a Christie austerity plan.
Meanwhile, the state lost federal matching funds for family planning because of a Christie veto, a precious $400 million was lost because of a bungled application for Race to the Top education money, $60 million to weatherize homes evaporated, and the state has had to return $271 million to the feds because Christie cancelled of New Jersey's share in funding a Hudson River rail tunnel project.
Photo by Aristide Economopoulus/(Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger