|Full Name||Christopher James "Chris" Christie|
|Birthday||September 6, 1962 (age 61)|
|Born||Newark, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Spouse||Mary Pat Christie (m. 1986)|
|Alma Mater||University of Delaware, Seton Hall University|
|Net Worth||$5 million (Estimated)|
For over a decade, Chris Christie has captivated the American political scene with his loud, in-your-face Jersey attitude. The former federal prosecutor-turned-governor never held back – whether berating critics at lively town halls or battling public employee unions over pensions.
To supporters, Christie was a bold reformer who wasn‘t afraid to speak the truth. To detractors, he was a bully who picked unnecessary fights. But regardless of his controversial style, Christie left an indelible impact on New Jersey and national politics.
From U.S. Attorney to Trenton
Christie first gained notoriety in the 2000s as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey under President George W. Bush. He led high-profile prosecutions against corrupt officials from both parties, earning a reputation as a political outsider.
When Christie ran for governor in 2009, he campaigned as a fiscal conservative ready to take on New Jersey‘s bloated budget and bureaucracy:
"As your governor, you‘re going to have to get used to my directness. I am direct with the people of New Jersey because I want them to know the truth."
After defeating incumbent Jon Corzine, Christie moved quickly to enact his agenda. He signed bills capping property tax hikes, cutting pensions for future state employees, and reforming teacher tenure. True to his word, Christie had no qualms about confronting vocal critics like public sector unions.
"I am tired of dealing with the people who have hand out all the time…I‘m tired of hearing about the problems. We‘re here to talk about solutions." – Christie at a 2011 town hall
Leading Through Tragedy as "Comforter-in-Chief"
In October 2012, just before his re-election bid, Hurricane Sandy pummeled New Jersey. The catastrophic storm resulted in over 100 deaths and $70 billion in damage.
As the state reeled, Christie took on the role of "Comforter-in-Chief." He toured devastated areas embracing victims, listened to survivors‘ stories, and reassured them things would improve:
"We‘ve got a lot of work ahead of us. I know we can get through it. We‘ll get through this because we are Jersey strong."
Christie put aside partisan politics, praising President Obama for his response efforts. His handling of the crisis cemented his status as a leader who put people above politics.
2016 Campaign Focused on "Telling It Like It Is"
In 2015, Christie embarked on a presidential bid, pitching himself as a brash truth-teller. His campaign ads highlighted his bold personality:
"I mean what I say and I say what I mean. You‘re gonna hear a lot of complaining from a lot of people, but you know what? We are not a bunch of whiners."
Christie aimed to portray his signature blunt, confrontational style as an asset. But his campaign failed to gain momentum in a crowded GOP field. After a 6th place showing in New Hampshire, Christie dropped out and endorsed eventual nominee Donald Trump.
Final Years and Political Legacy
Christie‘s approval ratings plummeted in his final year as scandals like "Bridgegate" dogged his administration. But he remained a stalwart Trump defender after leaving office, supporting Trump‘s tax cuts and Supreme Court picks.
So how should we evaluate Christie‘s tumultuous tenure? Supporters credit him with stabilizing New Jersey‘s shaky finances and delivering overdue reforms. Critics argue he worsened partisan rancor and enriched allies.
Regardless, Christie left a memorable impact stemming from his brash persona. Love him or hate him, he brought an impassioned Jersey voice to both state and national issues. As Christie said:
I am who I am, but I am not a bully.