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Author: Susanne LaFrankie

Christie’s Single Nixonian Misstep

By Susanne LaFrankie | The Save Jersey Blog

Richard Nixon“I am what I am but I’m not a bully” …cringe worthy words from last week’s Bridgegate press conference, words which could haunt Governor Chris Christie since they’re eerily similar to those of Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook.”

Gov. Christie’s team should have drilled into their boss’ head Rule #1 of crisis management pressers: don’t pull a Nixon and never repeat a negative.

There’s NO evidence that he was lying, Save Jerseyans, but that’s only half of the point in the world of public relations and perception. When asked if he was a bully, Christie should have said simply NO!


Winning With AND Without Them?

By Susanne LaFrankie | The Save Jersey Blog

Christie close upIn the fickle world of politics, Save Jerseyans, you can often measure your success or your threat factor, by your bad press.

These days Governor Chris Christie, a one-time darling of the media, should view his quick decent from problem solving mediator to school yard bully as a badge of honor.

He must be doing something right as he toys with a run for the White House in 2016.


Double Meaning in Time’s Fat Joke?


By Susanne LaFrankie | The Save Jersey Blog

Christie ElephantA cheap shot, an attempt to get social media a twitter or a creative, legitimate play on words?

Having been in a few newsrooms, I suspect it’s the former. Let’s face it Save Jerseysans: the media for all of it’s fourth estate high brow, Dudley Do Right haughtiness is in a business. A business of selling content. It was a clever play on words, referring to Christie’s girth and the GOP’s mascot.

The question is does Christie mind? Self-deprecation regarding his weight is part of his schtick. Remember his Letterman appearance when he downed a doughnut?

While in Asbury Park the other night, as I walked around the convention center taking in the band, balloons and Christie faithfuls, I questioned the Governor’s appeal: is it policy or personality? In many ways, not unlike Obama, “The Governor” is a celebrity, and just like his personality, his weight is part of his gigantic persona…


Christie: “We Paid a Lot of Attention” to South Jersey

Sights and Sounds from Governor Christie’s South Jersey Campaign Swing

By Susanne LaFrankie | The Save Jersey Blog

Along with their scrambled eggs and coffee, the regulars at Ponzio’s Diner in Cherry Hill got a side of bear hugs and black slaps from “The Governor” himself on Thursday morning, Save Jerseyans, as Governor Chris Christie barnstormed through South Jersey.

The Camden County stop was part of a seven-day, 90 stop bus tour, a final push to election day next Tuesday, Nov. 5th. The latest Quinnipiac poll has the incumbent leading by a two-to-one margin. Christie also made stops in the contested first and third legislative districts.

Despite his 64% to 31% lead over his challenger and criticism that he isn’t focusing enough attention on leg races south of Trenton, Christie told Save Jersey that he hopes to be “rewarded” for his administration’s efforts in South Jersey but isn’t taking anything for granted and wants folks “to get out and vote next Tuesday” for his ticket:


More from Chris Christie’s Haddonfield Education Presser (VIDEO)

It was a real life civics lesson for AP Government students at Haddonfield Memorial High School on Monday afternoon.

Fresh off his Keynote at the Republican National Convention, Governor Christie took several wide ranging questions from the assembled Juniors and Seniors including tips on how to successfully run for office, the chances of New Jersey emerging as a political swing state, and what has been the most challenging part of being the Garden State’s Governor.

But the real reason Governor Christie came back to this Camden County borough (for second time in 3 months) was to tout his bipartisan education reforms including changes to teacher tenure (the center piece of his education reform) and more money for public schools. Christie said Haddonfield is only one of 10 schools statewide who have agreed to participate in a teacher evaluation pilot program; the district gets an additional $100,000 dollars in its coffers as a result…

In the new budget, this affluent Camden County borough received an unusual increase in state aid (32%). Christie made it clear he wants to offer all NJ kids the chance to have a quality education and vowed to push the Opportunity Scholarship Act, legislation that would help poor students in under performing districts like Camden City but that has nevertheless stalled in the Democrat legislature.

By the way – when asked if he’d take a cabinet position within the Romney administration should he win in November, the answer was a resounding NO!


Sen. Hatch on Gov. Christie: “I’d Like to See Him on the Supreme Court” (VIDEO)

I’m still digging through all of my media, photographs and other digital souvenirs from the Republican National Convention, Save Jerseyans.

Here’s a gem from Orrin Hatch (R-UT), long-time U.S. Senator and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He told Save Jersey that he has a high opinion of Governor Chris Christie and his future prospects. So high, in fact, that he would like to see Christie on the United States Supreme Court…

…a thought that will certainly disturb some of our liberal readers!

Check it out:

Diane Allen Discusses the “Bottom Line for Women” with Save Jersey (VIDEO)

I caught up with State Senator Diane Allen (R-LD7) at last week’s RNC in Tampa, Save Jerseyans.

We’re going to hear a lot about the Republican “war on women” over the next few nights at the Democrats’ own convention. Senator Allen is an experienced female legislator from a blue district, so I want interested in getting her take on Chris Christie, Ann Romney, and the GOP’s general relationship with women with Election 2012 just weeks away…

More Scenes from ‘Save Jersey’ at the 2012 RNC

It was a week to remember in Tampa, Save Jerseyans.

I made new friends from around the country, met fellow journalists from around the world, and got to share in a remarkable piece of history as the assembled delegates nominated Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. What else could you ask for???

You can visit our Save Jersey archives for more of my videos, photos and observations from the 2012 Republican National Convention. What follows is several more image from my time at the RNC. Enjoy!


Condi Rice's left arm! I got a chance to speak with the former Secretary of State about her new hobby... golf!

I had a chance to interview U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

Yours truly outside of the convention hall...


More photo-captured moments below the fold…


NJ Delegates Still Swelling with Pride Post-Keynote (VIDEO)

It’s hard to underestimate enthusiasm levels down here in Tampa, Save Jerseyans!

Governor Chris Christie’s rousing keynote on Tuesday night had already emboldened a palpably proud New Jersey delegation; last night’s speeches by Condi Rice and Paul Ryan only served to take delegates’ emotions from a sustained burn to a fever pitch. You can only imagine how excited everyone will be for tonight’s acceptance speech by Mitt Romney…

Here’s some more reaction from New Jersey delegates en route to the convention center:

Kyrillos Stresses Correlation Between 2012 RNC and Senate Race (VIDEO)

U.S. Senate Candidate Joe Kyrillos (R-NJ) took a break this week from campaigning against Bob Menendez to support his close friend Chris Christie in Tampa.

We caught up with him and, during our brief chat, he doubled-down on a consistent message in all of his messaging – that New Jersey needs to take Chris Christie’s “jersey comeback” national in November by electing Mitt Romney, himself and the entire GOP ticket:

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Transportation) at the GOP Convention

I knew I was in trouble, Save Jerseyans, when our shuttle bus from St. Petersburg (about 30 miles from the Convention Center) took nearly an hour and a half to get to. It was a precursor of the transportation nightmare to come.

I get it: 50,000 people jamming into one venue to “be there” to see the pomp circumstance, speeches and the who’s who of the GOP. Not easy.

But getting around here in Tampa is tough. Too tough.

For example, like I do before the 9th inning of a baseball game at Citizens’ Bank park, I started to plan my exit strategy as Governor Christie, the Keynote and last speaker was wrapping up well after 11:00 P.M. on Tuesday evening.

This time it would not work.


Tom Kean, Jr. Discusses Christie-Ryan Dynamic with Save Jersey (VIDEO)

I caught up with State Senator Tom Kean, Jr. today ahead of tonight’s RNC 2012 speech by Paul Ryan.

Senator Kean is a longtime friend of Save Jersey, a veteran Republican legislator, and a former candidate for federal office; it goes without saying that his thoughts regarding the GOP’s two fastest-rising stars are certainly worth noting:

Like His Hero Springsteen, Christie’s Fame is Going International (VIDEO)

Walking the cavernous RNC 2012 media facility in Tampa, Florida, containing row after row of working journalists–15,000 in all–I was curious about their interest in Governor Chris Christie.

After all, I figured it presented an interesting and unorthodox opportunity to poll the New Jersey politician’s popularity. Sure, the NJ media were covering him as well as the likes of FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC and the NYT. But I was most interested to see if Christie’s star had orbited into the international media sphere. What interest did the 400 international journalists from four different continents have in the guy from the Garden State?

Ironically, or intelligently, reporters don’t like to be interviewed. But surprisingly, I did get many off-the-record responses.  One after one, when I mentioned Christie’s name, their faces lit up and they invariably smiled. For example, when I asked an Egyptian reporter if he heard of the NJ Governor, he laughed and said “Of course, everyone knows about him!” A female reporter from another Middle Eastern news outlet said “Oh, there is a lot of interest in him as a new possible leader of the United States.”

Not exactly scientific–more anecdotal– but definitely interesting.

The journalist featured in my video clip posted below reports for a Korean business journal. After watching several speakers, he was most impressed with Chris Christie’s Keynote. His take: the Governor is an effective communicator, who appeals to the masses, motivating both Republicans and Democrats alike.

There you have it, Save Jerseyans… Governor Chris Christie, a true rock star from NJ is now playing on tour and performing internationally. Springsteen-esque with a delightful conservative twist.


Dinesh D’Souza Dishes to Save Jersey on Chris Christie: “Big Guy for Small Government” (VIDEO)

I caught up with renown conservative author and creator of the new hit motion picture documentary ‘2016’ DINESH D’SOUZA yesterday at the Tampa RNC, Save Jerseyans.

Great movie by the way!!! Click here to find a ‘2016’ theater near you if you haven’t seen it yet.

But being Chris Christie keynote night, I simply had to ask Dinesh D’Souza about his take on New Jersey’s leading Republican and any possible connections between 2016‘s theme and Governor Christie’s Garden State record/rhetoric.

Here’s his off-the-cuff response…