Good news for Chris Christie lovers and haters alike: the larger-than-life New Jersey governor with a rock star-like cult following will be the subject of a new biography featuring his latest scandal, “Bridge-gate.”
Former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Matt Katz will write a biography of the outspoken Republican governor and prospective presidential candidate, to be published in spring 2015 by Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint of Simon & Schuster.
Christie has become a national figure for his brash manner as well as his performance during Hurricane Sandy, which hit the New Jersey coast in 2012, and his (criticized) performance during a traffic-related scandal in fall of 2013.
Coined “Bridge-gate,” the incident centered on a traffic-blocking operation, reportedly directed from within Christie’s administration, which caused massive backups near the George Washington Bridge, which connects northern New Jersey and New York City. The gridlock, which lasted days, was reportedly done in political retribution, targeting the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., who declined to endorse Christie’s 2013 gubernatorial re-election bid.
Christie has adamantly denied any involvement in the traffic blockade. Still, the scandal appears to have tarnished his reputation as a straight-talking politician and may impact his expected 2016 presidential election run.
The incident drew widespread attention, dominating headlines and punchlines, acquiring a Wikipedia entry and memorable moniker, even drawing comparisons to great political scandals of yore, including President Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky and President Nixon’s Watergate scandals.
While information is scarce on the as-yet-untitled biography, what is clear is Katz’s authority on the subject matter.
The prize-winning journalist has covered Christie and his high-profile governorship extensively. As a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, he created a popular blog, the Christie Chronicles, with more than 500 entries on the politician. He currently covers all things Christie for WNYC radio, a local NPR station, and New Jersey Public Radio.
According to The Blaze, “Katz has been a devoted member of the Christie beat,” a job Katz himself describes “like watching a 24/7 made-for-TV production.”
He describes the New Jersey governor as “his own news outlet.”
In other words, plenty of fodder for a juicy, no-holds-barred account of the straight-talking, joke-cracking, headline-making governor from New Jersey.
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.