Another new poll shows that Americans are increasingly skeptical of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Another news story suggests improper behavior from a member of his administration. So Christie spent Monday beating a 13-year-old at ping-pong.
The NBC/Marist poll shows that the still-unfolding scandals surrounding Christie's administration continues to damage his popularity. In every demographic group, Christie's numbers have fallen. The graph at right shows how his net rating has dropped between 2013 and 2014; only among Republicans and people in the Northeast is he still in positive favorability territory. But only barely in the Northeast. If you're keeping score at home, these numbers are actually better than a Pew Research poll from last week. Which is saying something.
Meanwhile, The New York Times is probably not helping matters, with a new report detailing how Christie's lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, launched a crusade against a Trenton artist, Daniel Aubrey, apparently in an attempt to solidify control over the New Jersey Arts Council. (Guadagno is also the central player in accusations from the mayor of Hoboken that the Christie administration threatened to withhold Sandy relief money if a development project wasn't passed.) "Ms. Guadagno used Mr. Aubrey and his contract as a club with which to whack a 'rogue' Arts Council," the Times' Michael Powell writes. "This frightened Mr. Aubrey." The investigation into Aubrey was closed in 2011; he filed a complaint with the state's Ethics Commission the following year that hasn't been replied to.
Yesterday afternoon, after that story emerged, Christie was continuing his regular gubernatorial duties, touring the newly renovated Boys & Girls Club of Newark. The Star-Ledger was there, and took video of the day's highlight: a ping-pong match-up between the governor and a young teenager.
Chris Christie won. Which is probably for the best; it was a nice Boys & Girls Club, and it would be a shame if something happened to it.