Save Jersey blogger Brian McGovern gives an even-handed evaluation of the event, calling Bill Brown, the constituent, "disrespectful" but also noting "Christie should not have called him an 'idiot.'" McGovern characterizes the exchange between Brown and Christie as "inappropriate." I should say so.
It's about time Republicans start listening to Gov. Christie when he tries to tell them he's not ready for the presidency. He's not. Any seasoned comedian could have handled a heckler better than Christie did.
Christie plans to merge Rutgers University and Rowan University. Rutgers has the prestigious national name recognition, while Rowan is relatively obscure. The Rutgers community is up in arms over the proposal, which would rename the university and, they feel, undermine Rutgers' reputation.
Sounds like a valid argument to me. So why does Gov. Christie dismiss their concerns, as represented by Brown, without a note of consideration? Christie starts off on the wrong foot. Instead of acknowledging the Rutgers perspective, showing some respect for its concerns and outlining a plan to address them while moving forward with the merger, he just launches into a myopic presentation on his reasons for the merger.
What Brown wanted was for the Rutgers community's concerns to be heard and addressed. Christie gave him neither.
It's not like Gov. Christie hasn't had the time to formulate a response and he definitely should have anticipated he would be questioned about it. Instead Christie gets all flustered and shuts him down. "Rutgers is gonna merge with Rowan, and here's why."
Adults don't really like it when politicians talk to them like they're errant children. Christie's "because I said so" attitude won't play well with thinking people. Christie needs to mature into a leader who can handle dissenting opinions before he sets his sights on the White House.
- Chris Christie
- Rutgers University
- Rowan University