I have to confess that, at least initially, I did enjoy some of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s public confrontations with hecklers -- as copiously registered by iPhone cameras and broadly distributed by YouTube.
But lately, I’ve been experiencing some sort of Chris Christie-fatigue. Perhaps is the fact that Jersey Shore is so 2009, or that at some point elected officials’ brazen attitudes just get overexposed by an excess of viral digital clips. Maybe is that Christie may have finally lost his mojo (or all of the above). The fact is, Christie’s Snooki-style outbursts are no longer cute.
One of the aforementioned moments (yes, you guessed it; this one was also caught on video) occurred last Thursday night when the governor went off on an Seaside Heights boardwalk passerby who criticized Christie for his policies on education while the governor enjoyed a summer moment with his family on the board -- like any other New Jerseyan.
You don’t even have to play the video to know how the story goes. Like an old television show, or a repetitive web series, the governor’s performance feels flat and predictable. He basically just lets loose on his opponent/heckler. This time, though, not even the novelty of sassily gesturing with one hand while holding an ice cream cone on the other, helped restore some of the governor's previous viral moments when it seemed as though he was really standing up for the Garden State's taxpayers.
Even the lines were predictable, "You’re a real big shot," Christie, yelled as he walked toward the man who criticized him. "You’re a real big shot shooting your mouth off," he added (I honestly was expecting Pauly D or J Woww to show up at any minute, but not even they could have saved the governor from a flat and boring performance).
Coincidentally, the new video appeared on YouTube as Christie "celebrated" 5 million views of his 603 videos posted on the video-sharing site, a new addition to the governor's collection which includes a recent episode during which he asked a reporter if he was "stupid" and called him an "idiot" for asking an off-topic question at at press conference.
In the era of viral social media, there seems to be a fine line between being outspoken while trying to defend citizens from an evil and corrupt status quo, and coming across as just another trashy bully. And Chris Christie seems to be doing a good job at -- at least -- dangerously approaching that line. Good luck with that VP nod.