Niteside cornered Herb Jackson, Washington correspondent for The Bergen Record, at a reception for Governors and Ambassadors at the Willard Hotel on Friday night. The occasion kicked off the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association in D.C.
We asked Jackson to give us the inside scoop on N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, whose meteoric rise in the Republican party has become something of a national phenomenon.
"He’s a Jets fan,” Jackson said. “That’s what you need to know about Chris Christie. And if you don’t know about Jets fans, go look it up. Jets fans yell a lot. Jets fans like to take their shirts off in five-degree weather.”
So the governor yells a lot. “He’s a very forceful person," Jackson said. "He’s a force of nature; there’s no denying that. He put a lot of people in jail, both Democrats and Republicans. He was pervasive and became well known for that... [He's] popular for that among people that actually read newspapers.” We took that as a hint that maybe we should read more newspapers.
“His claim to fame though,” Jackson continued, “was that he ran and got elected in a blue state and beat a ‘billionaire‘ [incumbent Jon Corzine] who had won two statewide races before. Christie came in and he’s shaking things up.”
Meanwhile, former Michigan Gov. John Engler doesn’t miss serving. “That was a long time ago,” he said.
So many countries were represented at the trade event that they came close to covering the alphabet. Ambassador of CanadaGary Doer, however, reminded us that Canada is our best trading partner and that “25 million Canadians go to the States to have a good time.” Merci beaucoup.
Oh, and in case guests needed to do some ‘trading’ while drinking, they could log into the communal computer and tweet their hearts out.