Chris Christie’s sudden respect for Barack Obama has enraged conservatives and the Romney campaign, but it makes sense when you remember that Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen more than anything, and a disaster just hit New Jersey, and Springsteen will obviously do a benefit. But Springsteen, who is such a Famous Democrat that he actually campaigns with Obama, refuses to have anything to do with Christie. What might change Bruce’s feelings for the Republican governor of New Jersey? What might make The Boss finally give a little love back to his biggest (!) fan, Chris Christie?
This should do it:
Springsteen To Perform At Sandy Benefit on.mtv.com/SA4DOQ Is there any chance he won’t play “4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)”?
— Ben Greenman (@bengreenman) November 1, 2012
Christie’s unrequited love for Bruce Springsteen is well known and well documented. Conservatives are going double nuts trying to parse the GOP heartthrob’s embrace of Obama just days before the election, but they’re not only missing Christie’s obvious affection for the storm-ravaged state he governs. They’re missing the fact that Bruce Springsteen is the actual Boss of Chris Christie’s soul.
Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in the July 2012 issue of The Atlantic:
This concert is the 129th the governor has attended. His four children all went to Springsteen shows in utero. He knows every word to every Springsteen song. He dreams of playing drums in the E Street Band.
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.’”
The hurt, the shame! You love somebody so much, and they don’t even give you a “Fuck you” in return.
Now, though, in this moment of real pain and real tragedy, in this time of real New Jersey heroes rescuing people from these Sandy-made suburban hell zones, now they can come together, as neighbors, as brothers, as the kind of people who would either write/sing or actually enjoy a song like “We Take Care of Our Own.” It is time. It is time for the Big Man to join the band.
To hell with Mitt Romney, who wouldn’t know Springsteen from Rick Springfield. To hell with the idiot southerners and midwesterners and other slobs with their shitty Nashville pop and CMT. The Boss is going to play songs, maybe even the insane Tom Waits-esque ballad “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy),” with its checkered-tablecloth accordion and dopey rasp lullaby about banging girls underneath the boardwalk and Dylan lines about the cops not needing Madam Marie. Maybe everything that dies, someday comes back. Maybe everythiing that monster of a hurricane did to the Shore will be willed away with song, at least for the duration of the song, anyway. And then Bruce will say some things, sincere words, hopeful words, and then he might just come off the soundstage in that weird bow-legged walk and there stands Big Chris Christie, beaming, eyes glistening with tears … and then sparks fly on E Street, finally and forever, tonight in Jungleland.
UPDATE: It has happened.