Michael Smerconish in The Philadelphia’s Inquirer, inadvertently shedding light on why the mainstream media are so reluctant to bash elitist politicians:
It was no surprise to me that Chris Christie took heat for using a state helicopter to attend his son’s baseball game, but I’m not thinking of the wrath of New Jersey taxpayers. If his house is anything like mine, he has bigger problems on the home front for the poor decision he made.
Last Tuesday, Christie flew from Trenton to Montvale to watch his son Andrew play baseball in a state playoff game. Upon arrival next to the field, Christie was shuttled about 100 yards in a dark town car with tinted windows to the stands. Then, after the fifth inning, play was halted so he could depart in order to travel to Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion, to dine with some Iowans who were courting him to run for president.
Smerconish doesn’t slam the governor for believing fiscal austerity is good for the peons but not for the millionaires. He doesn’t mention that Christie’s Ralph Kramden-esque personal style is much more off-putting than that of unionized teachers, whom he has described as “bullies and thugs.”
Instead, the issue that concerns the columnist is the possible harm Christie’s helicopter usage might do to the psyche of his son, the baseball player. He urges the governor to drive — i.e., to be driven — to the kid’s next game.
Smerconish informs us that he drives an F-150 pickup and an $80,000 Jaguar “provided” by one of the sponsors of his radio show. He confesses to embarrassing his sons twice, by picking them up from school in his “spectacular” Jag and, on another day, in the F-150, which prompted one of the boys to ask, “Dad, how many pickup trucks do you see other than ours?”
Oh, the emotional trauma of kids raised in upper middle-class privilege, and of harried upper middle-class fathers like Smerconish and Christie! My heart goes out.
But Smerconish could help undermine the public perception that he and his soul brother are lazy, wasteful elitists. He could create and promote the first annual Chris Christie Save the Schools 100-Yard Walk, the proceeds of which could be used to help pay for teachers and school supplies. The event might boost both men’s public image and the oft-heard right-wing claim that charity should take the place of government programs that help the poor.
The fee to participate in the walk would be twenty dollars. Each walker would be sponsored by an N.J. millionaire who would kick in an additional $10,000 and have his name engraved in the 100-yard walkway (at Drumthwacket?).
Christie could take part, if only to inspire the grossly obese who are trying to get in shape. Smerconish might join him to prove that he, Mr. Jag, is still capable of walking 100 yards. But only after a thorough physical exam, of course.