Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Meet the billionaires Gov. Christie hung with in 2011

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie partied like a billionaire in 2011. Or at least with billionaires, he reports in a new book soon to be released about the 2012 presidential election.

Christie, who is currently running for a second term as governor, told Washington Post reporter Dan Balz that he attracted a lot of attention from the super-rich in the lead up to last year's campaign. Although many of them had already thrown their support behind eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney, people like Nancy Reagan and Barbara and George W. Bush urged him to get into the race.

When Christie said no, they decided to throw Christie a party and invited all their friends. Hosted by Ken Langone, the founder of Home Depot, the governor said it was a who's who of GOP heavy hitters:
All of a sudden you hear John Mack [ former CEO of Morgan Stanley] on the phone. [Langone] says ‘David Koch is out of the county. David, are you there?'
Getting down with one of the leading funders of the American Legislative Exchange Council might give some politicians pause. But not when you are also getting private calls from former President George W. Bush:
He kind of asked me then what I was thinking, what were the impediments in my mind, what were the concerns. It was an amazing conversation.
Alex Pareene at Salon wonders, however, if this is something a governor seeking re-election and possibility a run at the White House in 2016 should be sharing:
We all already know that in the United States since around just before the Reagan era the top one percent of earners have gotten much richer than everyone else, and the top one percent of the top one percent — people like the sorts of people Christie met at that wonderful party — have done so fantastically well for themselves that even the rest of the one percent has reason to feel resentful. Meanwhile life basically sucks for everyone else, with stagnating wages and a hallowing out of the middle class, not to mention the in-progress gutting of the safety net for those never lucky enough to actually join the middle class. And here’s Chris Christie bragging that sixty representatives of the ultra-elite really, really wanted him to be president.
It looks like the governor may want to get back in touch with the other 99.9 percent while he campaigns around the Garden State.