Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) attended the Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game on Sunday night and even sat in the Visitor Owner's box at Lincoln Field. This appearance did not go over well with some grumpy Garden State area gridiron fans.
While at the game, fans directed some choice words towards Governor Christie for sitting with "the enemy". Philadelphia Councilman Jim Kenney (D- At Large) used his official Twitter account to share some ad hominem attacks against Governor Christie.
So much for Kenney's aspiration to "Let's be decent to each other." However, Councilman Kenney is presumptuous that Christie was ingratiating himself with "Texas ass" for 2016. Governor Christie has been a Cowboys fan since age nine. This was something which came up during his first run for high office in Trenton.
Governor Christie refused to engage with Councilman Kenney asking: "First of all--who?" Then Christie opined: “I don’t even know who this guy is. But listen, there’s lots of people who attempt to use me to increase their own fame. He’s got to get somebody else beside his parents to know who he is, so that’s good.” This reinforced Christie's rough and tumble reputation of not suffering fools gladly but doing so without drawing proverbial blood.
But to be fair, there may have been a counter-intuitive political calculation with Chris Christie's unabashed Cowboy fan-dom. It was not necessarily to win friends deep in the heart of Texas. It is more likely that it was a Sister Souljah moment.
During the 1992 Presidential campaign, then candidate Governor Bill Clinton (D-AR) was questioned about whether he agreed with Sister Souljah, a hip hop artist and political activist, on black on white violence in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Mr. Clinton publically repudiated Sister Souljah and cultivated a centrist political reputation going into the 1992 General Election.
In this vein, Governor Christie used his lifelong support of the Dallas Cowboys as a means to reinforce his brand. Rather than take a mealy mouthed political position to root for the "home team", Christie rejected this "namby-pamby crap” of hiding his love for his team. By standing firm to his internal compass and offering straight talk, it also reinforced Christie's brand.
UPDATE 01/05/2014 Gov. Christie joined Jerry Jones in the owners box at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and celebrated the Cowboy's wild card playoff victory against the Detroit Lions.
The Daily Mail (UK) speculated that Gov. Christie was alienating supporters in the Tri-State New York area. Cynical politicos questioned if another high profile Cowboys appearance might soften anti-Yankee sentiments in the Lone Star State's presidential primary. Fashionistas wondered if that was Christie's lucky sweater or the extent of his dressy casual wardrobe.