— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 3, 2017
Miles of New Jersey beachfront, sitting empty on the Fourth of July weekend, as New Jersey’s government was shut down due to an ongoing budget battle. Empty, that is, except for a group of around a dozen people enjoying the day behind the governor’s mansion. Among them, the man that ordered the beaches closed on Friday, Governor Chris Christie.
With no political prospects left for Christie in New Jersey, it was expected that he would easily sign a budget crafted by the Democratic-led state legislature. However, a budget was not signed by the June 30th deadline, prompting Christie to call for the shutdown. The sticking point stems from the state’s largest insurer, Horizon. The company currently has a surplus and Christie wants to tap into that money to fund public health initiatives. However, the Democratic leadership fears that depleting the fund will lead to higher premiums.
Frankly, it is an issue that is completely unrelated to keeping New Jersey up and running. Thus, is appropriate to blame both sides for the shutdown. However, the pictures of Gov. Christie, basking in the sun on a beach he ordered closed less than 48-hours prior are nothing short of damning. The man has completely checked out on the people who elected him. Not only did the Governor close all of the state’s beaches and state parks, he did so on one of the busiest weekends of the year. Millions of tourism dollars are likely going to be spent somewhere else while over 30,000 workers will be furloughed.
Meanwhile, Christie defended his actions, telling Fox5NY:
“The governor is allowed to go to his residences and I’m at my residences. […] What a great bit of journalism by The Star-Ledger. They actually caught a politician being where he said he was going to be with the people he said he was going to be with, his wife and children and their friends. I am sure they will get a Pulitzer for this one.”
The man already has a paltry 15 percent approval rating, an all-time record low. He had previously attempted to hitch himself to President Trump’s ascension to office, but he was fired as head of the Trump transition team. Unless he finds new life within the Trump administration, Chris Christie’s political life is likely over. Now, as CNN puts it in a Monday headline,
“He’s stopped caring”
New Jersey deserves better.