So at 7:18 p.m. last night, the governor’s crack press office, which never makes a move that is not politically calculated to the max, sent out a release that said Gov. Chris “Fiscal Responsibility” Christie was asking the federal government for $53 million in emergency aid because of the winter storm that hit the state Dec. 26.

“While New Jersey is accustomed to winter storms, the intensity of this storm required extraordinary measures which strained the resources of the state and numerous counties to maintain public safety as well as clear the state’s roadways,” the press release quoted Christie as saying in his letter to President Obama. “I have determined that this incident is of such severity of magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the local affected governments, and that supplementary federal assistance is necessary.”

You remember that storm. It’s the one Christie caught a lot of heat for because he stayed on vacation in Florida rather than come back and deal with the emergency. It's also the same storm that Christie spokesman Mike Drewniak said was no big deal because "we are a northeastern state and we get snow – sometimes lots of it like this."

You might also note that at 7:18 p.m. last night, as this release went out, another winter storm was bearing down on the state.

Everybody got the message? The good governor is on the storm thing this time and he’s looking out for us ... unlike last time.

OK ... I know ... not an impeachable offense. But Christie’s constant attempt to manipulate his image does get a bit wearisome. It never stops.

Of course, this time he might have blown it.

Because at the same time he was asking the big, bad, overreaching, overspending federal government for $53 million in emergency aid, he was also on radio saying the state has no intention of paying back the federal government the $271 million New Jersey owes Washington for backing out of the Hudson River tunnel deal.

If I were President Obama, I’d tell Gov. Bluster it’s usually a good idea to pay back what you owe before you go begging for more. 

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