Where in the world is Chris Christie?
And who is presiding over the land of his birth?
The 50-year-old Republican New Jersey governor, who is running for a second term, had plans to “depart the state” the night of Jan. 27, according to the public schedule his office released. The listing described Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno as in charge for Jan. 26 and 27.
For personal travel in the past, the governor or his staff members have told reporters that he’s heading to his beloved Jersey Shore, or a baseball road trip, to name a couple of destinations. Then the reporters tend to buzz off and leave the guy to his wife and four kids.
If his trip is political, campaign advisers usually give at least a basic itinerary. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, for instance, will host a Christie fundraiser in February at the Palo Alto, California, home he shares with his wife, Priscilla Chan.
It’s hush-hush this time.
Yesterday, we called Mike DuHaime, a Christie strategist, who said Christie’s trip wasn’t political, and Michael Drewniak, a Christie spokesman, said the governor was traveling with his family. Then, around lunchtime, came a statement from Drewniak’s office: Christie had issued a conditional veto of the Democrats’ minimum-wage increase and proposed his own version.
Wait. Guadagno was still acting governor, so wasn’t this one hers? Nope. She had a statehouse ribbon-cutting ceremony, and today, a bill signing for Special Olympics funding.
We bumped into Drewniak at the Pepsi machine. So where, again, is Christie, and when is he returning?
“We’ll let you know,” he replied.
Then Kevin Roberts, another Christie spokesman, followed up with an e-mail saying Christie will return tomorrow night. He included a transcript of a response Christie gave when asked about his travel on Sept. 13, 2011:
“We put out a public schedule every day and, you know, if I’m going to be out-of-state I tell the lieutenant governor that I’m going to be out-of-state and she’s the acting Governor. But I don’t feel an obligation to tell people every place I’m going every day, you know?”
“I went to the University of Delaware football game on Saturday evening. Do I have to tell everybody that? You know, I went with my family to the game. It took me out-of-state. I told the lieutenant governor I’m going to be out-of-state for three hours at a football game. So, OK, if anything happens you’re in charge. Do I really have to advise people, you know, I’m going to a football game out-of-state? I think you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. If it involves my official duties I’ll advise about it, but if it doesn’t I’m not going to.”