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NJ Governor Chris Christie on the defensive for Disney vacation during historic NJ blizzard January 11, 2011

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie found himself in perhaps the biggest image crisis of his tenure following a family vacation that he took during his state’s worst blizzard in years. Not only was he in trouble for having fun at Disney World while his citizens dug out, it seems that his administration was MIA as his second-in-command, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, was having a family vacation of her own in Mexico. PR experts have reported that Christie botched his response when he finally returned, as his defensive tone indicated that he was not sorry, and could not relate to the public’s frustration with his lack of leadership.

For more on Christie’s Disney trip, and how he responded to criticism of his decision to stay in Florida, see the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What image does a Disney vacation during a major crisis create for a public leader? What words do you think were used to describe Gov. Christie’s choice to stay in Florida?

2.  How would you characterize Christie’s response to the public’s frustration concerning his trip? What was his main strategy in his response?

3.  How would you rate Christie’s response to the accusations that he made a mistake in not returning sooner? What did he do well? How could he have improved?

4.  Will this crisis for Christie’s image have a long-term impact? Why, or why not?

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