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Grandstanding Christie: Jersey Shore Edition

Last Thursday was the first time I ever saw Governor Chris Christie hold a press conference in front of a large fire that displaced people and businesses, despite the fact that hundreds of major fires occur every year in the state of New Jersey.

The difference here is this particular fire is picturesque and reminds people that Christie is Stronger than the Stormtm.

Of course, the Stronger than the Storm ads and promotion were intended to bring people to the shore, and his current photo op accomplishes nothing of the sort.  In fact, after driving there himself with his staff and state troopers and media coverage and gawkers and videographer and photographer, he told people to stay away.

Yep, instead of holding a conference in Trenton or the Dallas Cowboy's owner's box or wherever he was, Christie brought a large crew of people to a place he was telling people to avoid.

For the photo op.

He even called the fire his "backdrop" on Twitter.

Frankly, every other fire in my memory outside of forest fires has had the local mayors or OEM directors talking to the media, not a Governor.  Especially a fire where there has been no loss of life, only loss of insured property.

Does this suck, especially for those businesses?  Yes.  Is it horrible that this happens less than a year after Sandy did similar damage?  Yes.

But it sucks and is horrible for the eight families displaced by a restaurant fire in Union City, NJ last May, too.  And for the five people who died and 20 people displaced in a Newark fire in July 2012.  Or the woman who died in a home explosion in Hunterdon County two weeks ago.

None of those offered the optics of a fire at the boardwalk, so Christie ignored them.  But he's Stronger than the Storm, and that's all that matters to him in the end.

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