Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Fallon joined together to send up Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” affair.
So even The Boss is laying into the boss of New Jersey. The ruckus over the abuse of power scandal, that has struck the tough talking mayor a major political blow, is just not dying down.
Satire in Song
In a brilliantly worded “Born to Run” parody Fallon and Springsteen lay into the Governor and made no bones about blaming Christie, rather than his aides for the whole saga. The scandal has so far led to two resignations by David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, who claimed that they ordered the Fort Lee lane closures as a “traffic study,” and one sacking. Bridget Anne Kelly was canned by Christie after an email was released where she wrote “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” The whole scandal appears to have occurred because Gov. Christie wanted endorsements from local Mayors and when the endorsements weren’t forthcoming, a series of retaliations were carried out against the Mayors by members of Christie’s office. The long term political damage is yet to be seen for a man who some touted as a presidential hopeful.
As for Springsteen, who has been cataloguing the struggles of blue collar America in song his entire career, this abuse of the working man was never going to sit right. Which is another blow to Christie as he has been an ardent fan of The Boss for decades, apparently. The two men have also met in person twice. However, politically they are poles apart, Springsteen even wrote an editorial in the Asbury Park Press stating that the Governor’s budget was cruel to the poor.
One of the meetings between Springsteen and Christie was at a Hurricane Sandy benefit concert, and President Obama helped organise the on stage hug that followed. Sadly, there will probably not be any further hugs.
Whether this has soured Springsteen’s interest in working on political campaigns is yet to be seen. He turned out time and time again to get President Obama elected, flying with the President on Air Force One, and many see Obama’s presidency as a potential wasted opportunity to make the change he so expertly campaigned for in 2008. At 64 Springsteen must now have seen his fair share of elections and disappointments, but he seems to just keep on rocking, never letting cynicism stop his campaigning spirit.
Springsteen famously clashed with Ronald Reagan’s campaign after they used Born in the U.S.A., but anyone who’s actually listened to the lyrics of the song knows it’s not a piece of nationalistic fluff. Springsteen was later quoted by Rolling Stone magazine, “I think people have a need to feel good about the country they live in. But what’s happening, I think, is that need — which is a good thing — is getting manipulated and exploited. You see in the Reagan election ads on TV, you know, ‘It’s morning in America,’ and you say, ‘Well, it’s not morning in Pittsburgh.'”
Looks like Bruce Springsteen will continue sending up politicians, and in the catchiest way possible; “We got Wall Street masters stuck cheek to cheek with blue collar truckers and man I really gotta take a leak, but I can’t, I’m stuck in Gov. Chris Christie’s Fort Lee, New Jersey, traffic jam.”
By Andrew Willig