ICYMI: Christie fights NJ stereotypes, but also mines them for laughs

In Case You Missed It, in yesterday's paper I took a look at some of Gov. Christie's recent jokes about Jersey, and how that jibes with his criticism of those who joke about Jersey: 

TAMPA - In a warm-up speech before his keynote address at the Republican convention, Gov. Christie was giving the North Carolina delegation a pretty spot-on Southern accent. That followed a touching story about the Romneys coming over to the Christies' for lunch.

And then, at the end, he gave them Jersey.

"I don't want to get nasty early in the morning," he said to applause from a breakfast crowd that evidently wanted him to get nasty.

But, he said, if they don't get out the vote for Mitt Romney on Nov. 6, there would be consequences.

"You let me down? I know enough about North Carolina, I know where to find you. And you do not want an angry Chris Christie coming back to North Carolina on Nov. 7. I'm going to find [state GOP chairman Robin Hayes] first and he's going to name names of who didn't deliver. And then we're going to make some rounds. And we're going to give you some Jersey-style treatment. You don't want that now, I guarantee it."

Asked afterward if he was invoking The Sopranos, Christie scoffed and said he wasn't.

But to a few ears in the crowd, "Jersey-style treatment" sounded a lot like what Christopher and Paulie Walnuts try to do to the Russian in the Pinelands in Season 3.

Christie makes self-deprecating weight jokes; certainly he's free to make self-deprecating jokes about the place he has lived most of his life.

But the rub is that he is also the state's chief defender. He has made national news for railing against stereotypes perpetrated by such shows as The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Jersey Shore. He says his administration has spruced up the image of the state, making it known for things like fiscal responsibility and strong political leadership.

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