The Softer Side of Governor Awesome

TigerHawk is my go-to blog for coverage of New Jersey’s Governor Awesome, and I love watching clips of Christie speaking to voters like adults.  Whether he’s describing his own state as a “failed experiment” or jousting with his favorite piñata, the teacher’s union, it’s refreshing to watch him.

The alternate narrative, since there always has to be one, is that Christie is a bully. Here’s the Star-Ledger, in an editorial entitled “Christie’s Bully Act Getting Old“:

Some find Christie entertaining, but his combativeness is counterproductive and breeds the kind of hate speech that plaques [sic] the nation.

To be fair, the editorial was a month before the Arizona shooting turned “hate speech” into the overused meme of the year.  The perception of bullying is something Christie will have to keep in mind.

Anyway I clicked the button on TigerHawk’s latest discovery and settled back to see if Christie was going to “plaque” the nation.  I got a little wary when a Newark mother started talking about her struggles to get educational help for her dyslexic son Isaac — I hoped Christie wasn’t going to go on the attack.

Well, he did, but not against the mother.  He gave her more than two minutes to tell her story, including the tidbit that the state and federal governments together are providing $85 million to Newark alone for students with learning disabilities, yet the public schools told her there was nothing they could do for her son.

Christie weighs in at about 2:20 in the video, asking the woman to give her contact information to his staff.  Then he says, “But with all due respect to you and Isaac”…

Uh-oh…

“… this is the problem I’m trying to fix… The state sends in excess of 800 million of income tax  money every year to the Newark school system.  In excess of 800 million dollars.  It is outrageous to me, it makes my blood boil, that someone from the Newark school system would tell a mother, who is spending three or four hours a night trying to work her son into success, that we can’t do anything for them.  It’s outrageous…. Newark has twice the amount of administration of the average school district in New Jersey.”

Boom! Governor Awesome.

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