The man Gov. Chris Christie once told red-faced to “sit down and shut up” at a Hurricane Sandy anniversary press conference re-appeared in Trenton today, where the governor gave his latest State of the State Address.
Passed in the hallway, Jim Keady, a Hurricane Sandy aid activist and former Asbury Park City councilman who was shouted down by Christie for protesting during his Hurricane Sandy anniversary tour last year, pointed out to PolitickerNJ that not once did the Republican incumbent mention the issue in his nearly hour-long speech on the assembly floor — this despite heralding Hurricane Sandy recovery as a “top priority” for his administration in the storm’s wake.
“So it’s a top priority to his administration, he says he will not rest, and we don’t even hear the words Hurricane Sandy mentioned once in the state of the state,” an apoplectic Keady lamented. “You’ve got the greatest natural disaster to hit the east coast in who knows how many decades, and the governor doesn’t mention it once.”
Keady said the state is still dealing with a sluggish recovery, with only 323 houses rebuilt out of some 14,800 total through the state’s RREM program. But he wasn’t ultimately surprised that Christie glossed over the issue, agreeing with many today who saw Christie’s speech as a play for national audiences ahead of a 2016 presidential bid.
“That speech was for a broader american audience,’ Keady said, adding as evidence that Christie managed to touch on several major themes important to the national Republican base. “The governor has abandoned the state of New Jersey, and most specifically he’s abandoned these Sandy families.”