BOSTON (CBS) – Being in the news business, we hope people pay close attention to the news at all times.
However, when I take a vacation as I did last week, I admit to paying a bit less attention than usual, in deference to the need to light the grill, watch the sunset, and throw for Buddy the wonder lab.
Still, one story last week did penetrate the bubble: the sight of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, once a potential president, caught lounging on a beach the state had closed to the public because, in part, of Christie’s own political incompetence.
It turns out New Jersey maintains a residence at one of its nicest beaches, apparently for use by the governor. (Can you imagine if that happened here? We’re talking mushroom cloud over Beacon Hill.)
And when challenged about his arrogant decision to use it even after kicking out his constituents, Christie said: “That’s the way it goes. Run for governor, and you can have the residence.”
Christie already had the lowest approval rating of any governor, less popular than greenheads on the beach.
But his new role as international laughingstock is a cautionary tale for all politicians.
Lesson #1: don’t be too much of a jerk.
As Christie himself and then President Trump have shown, being a jerk can play well for awhile. As the governor has just demonstrated, there’s a limit.
Another lesson: we don’t have royalty here, so be careful with the entitlement act.
And a final lesson, let’s call it Christie’s law: you can be a leader, or you can be a jerky talk-show host.
But you can’t be both.