Political Animal


June 01, 2011 11:10 AM Chris Christie’s chopper

By Steve Benen

From time to time, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) family commitments have caused him some political troubles, but this story is likely to leave a mark.

Gov. Chris Christie arrived at his son’s baseball game this afternoon aboard a State Police helicopter.

Right before the lineup cards were being exchanged on the field, a noise from above distracted the spectators as the 55-foot long helicopter buzzed over trees in left field, circled the outfield and landed in an adjacent football field. Christie disembarked from the helicopter and got into a black car with tinted windows that drove him about a 100 yards to the baseball field.

Yep, Christie not only used a state helicopter to catch a high school baseball game, he also had a car waiting for him to drive him 100 yards to the field.

I suppose one could make the argument that the governor really enjoys high school baseball and wants to show support for his son, so Christie went above and beyond to be there. Of course, that would be a little more compelling if the governor didn’t leave half-way through the game.

During the 5th inning, Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie got into the car, rode back to the helicopter and left the game. During a pitching change, play was stopped for a couple of minutes while the helicopter took off.

Why’d Christie leave? Because he had a meeting with a bunch of wealthy Iowans who were in town to tell the governor how much they love him and want him to run for president.

As for the chopper, it’s one of two $12.5 million helicopters purchased for the state police. The intention was to use them for “homeland security duties and transporting critically injured patients.”

Christie, it appears, has added a new purpose for the aircraft.

Update: I’m reminded that Christie has a long track record of being wasteful with public funds.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • June on June 01, 2011 11:18 AM:

    You can't make this stuff up. But, it's okay if you're a Republican.

  • dcsusie on June 01, 2011 11:19 AM:

    It's not news that Christie is an arrogant *sshole. What will be news is if the media buries this because it does not serve their new meme of Christie as potential savior of the GOP from their wretched current field of presidential prospects. After all, why should they cover this clear abuse of power and misuse of public resources when they are so busy going nuts over Rep. Weiner's twitter account picture?

  • Ron Byers on June 01, 2011 11:20 AM:

    Clearly Christie is unable to plan his day and needs a chopper to make up for that failing.

    Governor lard ass might have had a heart attack if he had walked the 100 yards.

    What a maroon.

  • Kathryn on June 01, 2011 11:21 AM:

    Love how these budget slashing Republicans enjoy living like potentates while the little people go to food kitchens. This post needs to reach "The Daily Show", no one else will mention it.

  • John R AKA Mr. Serf Man on June 01, 2011 11:28 AM:

    But... but...I heard it from a reliable source that Mr Christie's Shit don't stink. Makes him well qualified to be president

  • Lynne on June 01, 2011 11:29 AM:

    The helicopter is bad enough, but having a waiting car drive him 100 yards? He really is a lardass.

  • SaintZak on June 01, 2011 11:33 AM:

    And he's the GOP's Great Fat Hope?

    As much as the corporate-owned media is trying ram this guy down everyone's throat, the righteous truth is that a greasy fat pig like Christie will never play to a national audience

  • Mike W on June 01, 2011 11:35 AM:

    Amazing story, although in all fairness Little League baseball games are only 6 innings long.

  • zeitgeist on June 01, 2011 11:37 AM:

    odd, i have read several MSM stories breathlessly telling of how Iowans beat down Christie's door to beg him to run. . . and not one has mentioned the helicopter ride that came just before. huh. i wonder why that is?

  • Danp on June 01, 2011 11:39 AM:

    Why’d Christie leave?

    He probably thought Palin's bus was going to meet him.

  • Han's Guitar Solo on June 01, 2011 11:39 AM:

    Chris "Get in my belly" Christie couldn't walk 100 yards?

    And he left before the game was over? Really?

    I know, IOKIYAR, but I wonder how much this cost. I wouldn't be surprised if the cost of the trip was on par with a teacher's annual salary. But of course, teachers are evil.

  • Doctor Whom on June 01, 2011 11:40 AM:

    Will someone please explain this guy's appeal to me? I really don't get it.

  • walt on June 01, 2011 11:44 AM:

    Doctor Whom, most Americans don't have a clue who this fat turd is and if they did know, would probably have an instinctive dislike for him. The MSM here is simply doing the bidding of our oligarchs in determing America's Next Reagan. If they thought Haley Barbour might be him, it shows you how clueless they really are.

  • c u n d gulag on June 01, 2011 11:45 AM:

    I'd have thought Krispie Kreme Christie'd need one of those huge military choppers to get enough lift to get his lard ass up in the air.

  • FRP on June 01, 2011 11:47 AM:

    By Matthew Mcgrath / The Record (Hackensack N.J.) | Wednesday, June 1, 2011
    Printed in the Boston Herald

    ...In a short statement, Drewniak defended Christie's use of the helicopter.

    "It is a means of transportation that is occasionally used as the schedule demands," he said. "This has historically been the case in prior administrations as well, and we continue to be judicious in limiting its use."

    The helicopter carrying Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, landed on the 20-yard line of the football field on the St. Joseph Regional High School campus. Christie was there to see the second-round state playoff game between the Green Knights of St. Joseph Regional High School and the Green Wave of Delbarton School of Morristown.

    The Christie's son Andrew, No. 24, is the Delbarton catcher.
    Reactions to the governor's drop-in appearance were mixed, and opinions varied largely according to what side of the baseball diamond they came from.

    Along the third base line, Montvale's side, spectators questioned the expense and necessity of the helicopter ride. Some were happy to see him at the game regardless of his entrance.

    Along the first-base line, some said they had no problem with the governor using a state helicopter to watch a high school baseball game.

    Whatever their take, few people who offered opinions agreed to give their names. Dennis Anderson, who was standing behind first base, was an exception.

    The governor's entrance was "phenomenal," Anderson said. "It's nice for him to get to watch half a baseball game."...

    This is as good a reason to focus on this man as most serious man in America . With both his rare gift of seeing into the murky tomorrow and formulatin' a hard hittin' plan fer today , he has simultaneously stopped the foolish spendin' on the expensive tunnel while freeing up cash for family activities . Giving , up by the bootstrap , pilots , and eager to please police new jobs .

    Or as Lene Lovich might say

    oh ay oh
    Nothing to demanding
    A new job
    To keep his mind expanding
    oh ay oh

    Then when everything is in roses everything is static
    Yeh my New Job
    oh ay oh ,
    You'll find us in the attic.

  • Han's Tuba Solo on June 01, 2011 11:48 AM:

    Doctor Whom: I think they like him for several reasons

    1) As of yet he is still a half term governor. Republicans love half term governors. I have no idea why that is. But no matter how stupid, rude, ignorant or fat you are, if you are a Republican Governor with less than 3 years of service, the teabaggers love you. (Some exceptions might apply, see Lex Luthor (Florida))

    2) He is a bully. Wingnuts love bullies. Check out his youtube clips, there are a few of them where I can swear Christie wants to kill, cook and eat the people he is yelling at.

    3) What else do they have? The GOP has shifted so far right that the candidates they used to love are now viewed as liberals. That is why Christie, who has little record, is so appealing; he is a blank slate that baggers can project whatever appeals to them onto.

  • chi res on June 01, 2011 11:50 AM:

    I bet we could come up with physical attributes of all the republican candidates that explain why they are wrong for the job. You know, Christie's fat, Pawlenty has a huge forehead, Palin and Bachmann don't have penises, Cain's black, and so on.

    On second thought, maybe it'd be better if we just stuck to criticizing their policies, values, etc.

  • hell's littlest angel on June 01, 2011 11:53 AM:

    Before anyone complains about the ad liponem attacks on Christie, I just want to say that when you're constantly blathering about how other people need to "tighten their belts," the fact that you're a bloated, buffet-snarfing, fat bag of shit is fair game.

    I'm sure Christie doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks of him. He must know he's a one-term (maybe even half-term) governor. Right now he's just fixed on whatever prize he thinks the slavering right-wing can deliver to him. If he can't be president, he'll settle for an eight-figure do-nothing job with some corporation.

  • Zorro on June 01, 2011 11:58 AM:

    Gov. Christie's platform: Fiscal conservatism for thee, but not for me.

    Come to think of it, that could be a good summary of the GOP's national economic platform.


  • JD on June 01, 2011 12:00 PM:

    One of the many negative consequences of this incident for Christie is that many will feel freer to call attention to his obesity, as can be seen in the comments.

    I personally am against mistreating people because of their physical appearance, but such approbrium couldn't happen to a nicer guy than Christie ;)

  • FRP on June 01, 2011 12:04 PM:

    Snakes crawl , fish swim , Republicans view public service as a birth right , and a free ride . Regarding other attributes fish have fins , snakes have fangs , and Republicans have forked tongues . Pack animals organize their lives around cooperative effort , to raise the young and provide for the clan . Republicans organize around Ponzi schemes and fantasy . They are kept from starving looting of the national treasury through fear mongering and jingoism .
    Hero's like these are what make three jobs to pay the rent possible . Idolizing them , while they complain about having to make ends meet on less than two hundred thousand a year is the dreamy gauze of rhetoric made possible by two plus two equals whatever they want it to .

  • slappy magoo on June 01, 2011 12:26 PM:

    @Han's Tuba Solo,
    "Wingnuts love bullies. Check out his youtube clips, there are a few of them where I can swear Christie wants to kill, cook and eat the people he is yelling at."

    That crossed the line. Christie wouldn't take the time to cook them.

    But seriously pimps and hos, what I find funny is that one of the common complaints about the Obamas coming out of Wingnutville is that they use Air Force 1 for personal reasons way too often (as if any vacation they ever take is just a vacation). I've seen guys complain that they should be forced by the taxpayers to fly coach, who do they think they are? Funny how they never see waste from the other side of the aisle.

  • joyzeeboy on June 01, 2011 12:35 PM:

    Ah, The Great White Wail at it again.
    I could almost accept the helo, but the car to drive him the 100yds to the bleachers. Was there a fork lift to get him up to the to row for a good view of the field?

    My townee-tea-baggers love him. Even when he slashed our school budget they still professed love for him in the school board meeting with one breath while bitching about the cuts in services with the next.

  • majun on June 01, 2011 12:46 PM:

    Somebody needs to figure out how many teachers had to be laid off to cover the costs of Christie's ride to the game. I think Christie will join the ranks of the other freshmen GOP Governors who all seem to be generating more than a little buyer's remorse.

  • Anonymous on June 01, 2011 12:57 PM:

    The apple may not fall from the tree, but the governor might also have embarrassed the hell out of his son with that stunt.

  • j on June 01, 2011 1:18 PM:

    And I hope he reimburses for that helicopter ride - sorry but to transport him it would have taken a huge supply of fuel

  • toowearyforoutrage on June 01, 2011 1:50 PM:

    As for the chopper, it’s one of two $12.5 million helicopters purchased for ... transporting critically injured patients.”

    We may have been a bit hasty...

    How much brain damage qualifies you for "critically injured"?

  • Grammy Pat on June 01, 2011 2:16 PM:

    In all fairness, my local paper noted that the purchase order for the helicopter was signed during the Corzine Administration. So, Christie only misused it, he didn't buy it. Also please note this was not just any high school baseball game. Christie's son attends the most expensive prep school in the state. Maybe that's why he is so cavalier about cutting funds for education. It does not affect his cosseted family.

  • xando.foote on June 01, 2011 2:16 PM:

    I've lived and worked in New Jersey (Cranford and Lyndhurst, respectively) and have spent wonderful weekends on the shore and Delaware River. Gov. Christie is a cut above many recent NJ politicians.

    But, really ... he has said many times he will not be on the ticket in 2012, suggesting that it might take suicide to convince the pundits. He's admitted he is not ready for the Oval Office (though he could be by 2016)

    I view the stunt at the baseball game, particularly with respect to the timing, as being nothing more than the temporary political suicide he threatened for 2012.

  • Anonymous on June 01, 2011 2:24 PM:

    "He's admitted he is not ready for the Oval Office..".

    Has he also admitted his ties to a mafia family?

  • Trollop on June 01, 2011 6:41 PM:

    The consumate Republican! He's perfect for the leader and spokesman of the GOP! Haul his fat ashes to Washington by helicopter right now!