“Zombie Killer Chris Christie” and “Zombies in Trenton”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie answers questions from the public on the 101.5 radio show “Ask the Governor” . Yesterday, 5/30/2012, he answered a “crazy question” about the “Zombie Apocalypse”. It was the last question of the hour so if you want to hear it, skip to 57 minutes in the studio video recording:
Or read my less-than-perfect transcription:
Host Eric Scott: There are a lot of concerns, some significant some not so significant, of just about everybody who listens to this show and gets an opportunity to talk to you. Our last question tonight comes from Roy:
Governor Christie: This is the crazy question, now
Host: He seems quite concerned, given all that’s happened in Florida recently: “I need to know the Governor has our back, are preparations under way to protect New Jersey from the coming Zombie Apocalypse?”
Gov. Christie: Well, let me just say this, I think that over the last two and a half years, Eric, I’ve proven through my interaction with the Legislature that nobody knows how to handle zombies like I do. And so from my perspective Roy, Roy should sleep easy tonight, Zombie Killer Chris Christie your governor, alright, I mean don’t mess with me, you get the zombies I’m after them big time. They know not to mess with me, I think you know that. And so, the next 28 days or so, I’ll be dealing with the zombies in Trenton and thereafter spread out throughout the entire State during the summer, making sure we keep our eye on the Jersey Shore. Great weekend this weekend by the way. I was at Revel. Everyone should go to Revel. Place is incredible, Atlantic City was crowded, all the Shore was crowded, let’s get to the Shore it’s summer time.
Gov. Christie claims to be the “zombie killer” against the “zombies of Trenton” which is the New Jersey Legislature. But then he plugs the horde mentality of summers at the Shore spending money at high priced resorts. Revel is a new 2.4 billion dollar resort in Atlantic City which is considered by some a major revitalization and by others a big risky gamble in these economic times.
Note that, like a good Social Media Zombie, the first thing Governor Christie does when the radio show ends is take off his headphones and pick up his smart phone.
Christie may claim to be the zombie killer but he is clearly quite infected with the zombie metaphors (“28 days”). I will withhold judgment on the Governor’s self-proclaimed status as hero against zombies and suggest that if he is using the metaphor he is may already be infected. (Language is the virus.) He jokes that the Other (branch of government) is zombie and he is their slayer. Perhaps that is a valuable way to understand Separation of Powers, or perhaps not. I think Mayor Bloomberg might agree.
Also in the broadcast, for those interested in anonymous and anonymity, you may be interested in the preceding question on the AskGov radio program in which an “anonymous caller” claims to be a State employee and the Governor responds: “Anonymous stop being so anonymous … do your job and report it.” In my opinion, Anonymous is related to zombies, not just because of zombie botnets and Canadian conscription but also because of similarities in the metaphors of dissociated identity.
Maybe what Christie means by “zombie killer” is something like ‘strong personal identity’. He has succeeded in establishing for himself a strong national political brand name as an individual who gets things done. Of course it is never just one individual, always a team effort, but he maintains a grand narrative for his political individuality. He maybe could have been on the Republican ticket this fall, if he had been up for the fight, and still he maybe can, depending on polling this Summer. I think his team has decided he has a better shot against Hillary in ’16. Meanwhile, Jonathan Capehart in the Washington Post today: “Christie could teach Romney about leadership” about the Governor’s support of an openly homosexual African American for judgeship.
Finally, I would suggest some kind of association between last months’ claims that Gingrich and Santorum were zombies when they were in the primary too long. Christie chose not to run in the Republican clown show that was this year’s primary. But unlike that other Atlantic City favorite, Donald Trump, who is ridiculed by the press, Christie still holds some authority with both mainstream and fringe groups. In a sense this makes Christie a powerful force still alive in the world of zombie politics, quite simply because his political identity is not dead (yet). If he can really kill zombies, Romney could use the help establishing new grand old narrative.