Gov. Chris Christie was back on the campaign trail yesterday, this time for his “Fairness Formula” plan to rewrite how the state pays for its public schools.
The pitch to 300 people gathered in Wall Township’s public library didn’t add much news to his presentation from last week. The event was more notable for its likeness to his town-hall meetings that preceded his run for the GOP presidential nomination.
Given it was his first such forum in months, the cavernous library center was as much dominated by the press covering the event as by the crowd.
Actually, the governor appeared a bit more subdued than in those earlier forums, and closed the event thanking the audience for its “patience” during his presidential run — a nod to the historically low poll numbers that followed his bid.
But he was in a township that would see its schools benefit from his funding plan giving every district the same amount per pupil, and Christie was greeted by a cordial and supportive audience, save a dozen protesters outside.
Christie also took questions from a half-dozen people, most of them pledging support of Christie’s intentions in his funding plan. A few brought up other issues, too. Wall’s own municipal and school budgets came up twice, and one man asked about Christie latest deal-making over the state’s gas tax.
But the occasion was as much about pressing flesh with the governor, and he was swamped afterward by those seeking a quick word or a photograph.
And in the end — 90 minutes after he started — Christie walked through the blue curtain back to his convoy of black SUVs, as one guest signaled her own mission accomplished.