“If you’re a normal, thinking, breathing human being….”

New Jersey missed out on $300 million in federal “Race to the Top” education funds.  It turns out that the state DOE filled out the application wrong.  But before you start ripping Chris Christie for government mismanagement, check out his masterful, and simultaneous, acceptance of responsibility and attack against the feds:

His approach, by the way, has “good lawyer technique” written all over it.

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  • http://home.earthlink.net/~nooriginalthought/ Charles

    For those of you who live outside New Jersey – please, please, PLEASE do not take Chris Christie away from us until he has cleaned up the Garden State!

    As I am on dial-up I haven’t watched this You-Tube video so I am going to assume that it is the same as I saw on the local news last night.

    I do like his “technique” on this matter.  I also like the fact that he (as of this comment) has refused to name the individual(s) responsible for this mistake.  In the past any other politician would have named names to let others’ heads roll so as to deflect blame from oneself.  Instead Chiris Christie is showing some integrity here.  Folks like that.

    Christie has also “taken on” the education establishment here in NJ, talking about their high pensions, demands for salary increase when other sectors are laying-off, he has taken on incompetent teachers, etc.  Their response has been, not to dispute his version of facts; but, rather, to say things like Chris Christie “hates” teachers, he has a vendetta, etc. (Must be they canNOT prove him wrong, no?) Blaming an education official would have been seen as a political cheap shot – just something else for NJ teachers and their union to get riled-up over.

    Also, can one really blame the feds in this case?  How would the state officials of the state that gets “bumped out” feel when they did, in fact, fill out the (granted, hundreds of pages) form correctly while New Jersey got a “do-over”? A do-over because they used the figures from the wrong year?  That doesn’t seem fair either.
    All that being said, I have to wonder why, oh dear God, WHY didn’t those handling this double (no, make that triple!) check the application form.  Getting something so wrong as to use the figures from the <B>wrong year</B>!  I’m left speechless.  As one who is unemployed and looking (desperately) for work I want to scream  – hire me! I can certainly get the right year!

  • Gringo

    Once again, Christie shows that he is a masterful  speaker sans teleprompter. He states issues clearly and concisely. Regarding Books’s “good lawyer technique” comment, it would appear that Christie’s years as a prosecutor gave him good practice in speaking on his feet.
    Lord, please forgive me for all the New Jersey jokes I have made over the years. Well. maybe one last New Jersey joke, about the New Jersey state motto. As a recovering Jersey-phobic, I hope I can be forgiven this one lapse.
    Ya Wanna ##$%##! Motto? I Got Yer ##$%##! Motto Right Here!

  • suek

    Ok…I’m at home with no sound card, so can’t listen.  I’ll check it later…but…how did someone _know_ they had wrong year figures?  doesn’t it seem as if they had to know the right year figures for them know that NJ had used the wrong year figures???
    It’s kind of like my husband and my horses – he marvels that I can go into the pasture at night and know which horse I’m touching or that he’s pointing out.  I marvel that he hasn’t figured out that while I do actually know which is which in the dark, he wouldn’t know  if I was just blowing smoke because _he_ doesn’t know which is which – how would he know if I was right or not???  I could tell him _anything_ and he wouldn’t know the difference…which definitely has a political application!!
    If you don’t _know_ anything, anybody can tell you _anything_ and you don’t know the difference.

  • http://thoughtyoudneverask.blogspot.com/ zabrina

    Christie is masterful under pressure. He is also the kind of American I want as a leader.
    He might also consider not getting a “Race to the Top” award as an undisguised blessing:
    The Federal money comes with long strings:
    He should seize the opportunity to do better by his state himself, as I’m sure he could.

  • expat

    I hope Christie does stay in NJ long enough to clean it up. But please let him keeping sending his messages across the country. One man alone would have a hard time fixing the whole country, but millions of voters demanding similar straight talk from their reps and execs from town hall to DC will change things. Let Christie be the gold standard for the whole country. We don’t need a messiah as much as we need an army of Christies.

  • Tonestaple

    Charles, I’m so sorry, but Christie can’t possibly be one of a kind, and the rest of his country needs him terribly.  Just seeing him at a “mea culpa” press conference, particularly comparing that to The One – well, I’m sorry, you can’t keep him.  There’s a great big house in DC – I think it’s white – that has a room reserved for him.
    Gringo’s NJ motto, in addition to causing LOLs, got me thinking about a motto for Washington state, so I think we’d end up with the official state motto being, “Can we get back to you on that?  We haven’t heard from all the stakeholders yet.”  This would result in a separate motto for eastern Washington along the lines of “What the hell is wrong with those people?”