Since Hurricane Sandy devastated the states of New York and New Jersey in late October, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has demonstrated strength, courage and perseverance through his continued efforts to revive the affected areas. He has showed the people of New Jersey that he is a capable and willing leader in times of distress. He has put politics aside for the welfare of New Jersey, stating, “some things are above politics,” in his January 8th State of the State address. Embodying this mindset, Governor Christie has led the charge against House Republicans, who delayed a sixty billion dollar disaster-relief bill for the victims and areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.
His courage and sincerity have put him in the spotlight of American politics, yet the Governor has remained true to his New Jersey roots. His approval rating after Hurricane Sandy soared above seventy percent and rumors are spreading about the New Jersey Governor running for President in 2016, but he has silenced the rumors. In an interview with ABC News, Governor Christie asserted that he is focusing on the moment: being the best Governor of New Jersey. As his Sicilian-American mother told him, “Do the job that you have right now as well as you can and your future will take care of itself.”
Governor Christie’s hard work and recent media attention have earned him a feature story in a recent issue of TIME magazine. The magazine’s cover photo – a resolute, if not slightly angered, headshot of the Governor, simply captioned, “The Boss” – ignited a great deal of controversy. Some interpreted the subtitle to implicitly signify Mafioso references. On the radio show, “Imus in the Morning,” Christie said “I’m reporting Time magazine to the, like, anti-Italian defamation league. I mean, look at that thing. It says ‘boss’ underneath.” Later, Christie joked about the cover, expressing that he may have damaged his new friendship with Bruce Springsteen.
Even with Christie’s lightheartedness of the matter, Italian-American groups and blogs have spoken up against the TIME cover, upset by what they see as mob references in the picture and title. As Andre’ DiMino, president of the Italian-American One Voice Coalition, said in The Star-Ledger, “They still have to go back to that negative, lowest common denominator of making that connection.”
Magazine cover controversy aside, the tragic destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy has allowed Governor Christie to demonstrate powerful leadership. He has truly taken charge of an emotionally charged situation and done everything in his power—political and beyond—to resurrect his beloved state.