I've been describing Chris Christie as "Noun, verb, Sandy" as a snarky but accurate riff on Vice President Biden's 2007 description of Rudy Giuliani as "A noun, a verb, and 9/11, there's nothing else":
Chris Hayes did America a huge favor last night by explaining what a self-serving, abusive (photo) opportunist Chris Christie really is. Now let's hope people listen, because the New Jersey governor did a great job of pulling the wool over many eyes on election day last Tuesday.
It's shameful how many people admire manufactured optics, cosmetics, and style over policy, character, and substance.
Chris Christie spent the day basking in the glow of his resounding victory last night. But before we get caught up in what he called "the spirit of Sandy" it is worth actually taking a look at the man's record....
The spirit of Sandy that Christie evoked so many times last night is one thing. But the facts of the recovery are something else entirely.
New Jersey received billions of dollars in federal aid to rebuild, and 1.8 billion of that came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to get people back in their homes. To get that money, Christie promised that 60% of the funds would be reserved for low to moderate income households. Right now, it appears that Chris Christie is breaking that promise...
The Christie administration has released no information on how the federal money is being spent. What we do know came out of a lawsuit that alleged the Christie administration was "improperly withholding data on the funds."
In response to that suit, Christie's government released information on where just a fraction of it all went. Of that money, only 36.9% went to the people Christie promised he would give it to.
The whereabouts of the rest of the billion of dollars remains a total mystery.
We do, however, know where an additional $25 million in Sandy aid went: to a very well produced ad campaign. In fact, a whopping $7.4 million federal dollars paid for this one commercial.
Turns out the firm hired to run the campaign had been chosen over an advertising firm that had bid 40% less, but did not propose using the governor's family in the spot...
Right now, there are thousands of people still out of their homes a year after the storm hit.... Mortgage defaults are up over the past year in the Sandy-hit areas. 75% of New Jersey residents affected by the storm say people like them have been largely forgotten in recovery efforts.
For many people in New Jersey, Sandy was the worst thing that ever happened to them. For Chris Christie, it could be the best....
Chris Christie is not just benefiting politically from a natural disaster, he is benefiting politically from a natural disaster made more disastrous by his own administration's failure to prepare.
During his first term, Christie de-funded the state's Office of Climate Change and Energy. After Sandy, when reporters filed public records requests to New York and New Jersey, they found that New York City's transit plans for severe storms is detailed in five binders, each three inches thick. New Jersey's transit plan? Three and a half pages with everything blacked out.
Chris Christie has perfected this performance of being sort of the great man of the people. That entrances reporters, it enraptures and almost hypnotizes reporters, because it's so "gosh darned everyman," but his actual performance as governor doesn't marry up with the image. Last night he talked about almost as if he was a Marine, not leaving people on the beaches of Normandy. He talked about his big, substantive achievement.
Well, darn it, he hugged people, and people hugged him. It is a minimum standard for a governor to accept federal aid. He didn't do that. And he didn't hate Barack Obama in the process. He gets credit for being able to do that in a Republican party that punishes you for not hating Barack Obama.
That is a low bar....
He is stoking it in his sort of narcissistic fashion. I think Sandy has a potential as a political issue to be his Bain Capital. Because at of end of the day, did you do your job?
More about who Christie really is here.