A little no class of Springsteen here to snub a fan over politics. Jeffery Goldberg in The Atlantic on NJ’s Chris Christie and Springsteen. (A fellow I heard at Grinnell College long ago when he was a nobody starting out. My buddies Dan Meltzer and Carlton Smith invited him to Grinnell.)
Despite heroic efforts by Christie, Springsteen, who is still a New Jersey resident, will not talk to him. They’ve met twice—once on an airplane in 1999, and then at the 2010 ceremony inducting Danny DeVito into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, where they exchanged only formal pleasantries. (Christie does say that Springsteen was very kind to his children.) At concerts, even concerts in club-size venues—the Stone Pony, in Asbury Park, most recently—Springsteen won’t acknowledge the governor. When Christie leaves a Springsteen concert in a large arena, his state troopers move him to his motorcade through loading docks. He walks within feet of the stage, and of the dressing rooms. He’s never been invited to say hello. On occasion, he’ll make a public plea to Springsteen, as he did earlier this spring, when Christie asked him to play at a new casino in Atlantic City. “He says he’s for the revitalization of the Jersey Shore, so this seems obvious,” Christie told me. I asked him if he’s received a response to his request. “No, we got nothing back from them,” he said unhappily, “not even a ‘Fuck you.’”
Though he doesn’t like the cold shoulder, Christie takes comfort in something that, I imagine, leaves his idol unhappy and confused: the people who grew up with Springsteen in Freehold, the people who first came to listen to Springsteen, the people whose lives Springsteen explores in his songs—they voted for Christie. Sixty-three percent of white voters with only high-school diplomas went for Christie in his 2009 race against the incumbent Democrat, Jon Corzine.