2012 Year in Review: Gov. Christie Finds Himself Repeatedly in National Spotlight

By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Love him or hate him, you cannot deny that New Jersey governor Chris Christie puts himself out there as the “real deal.”

This year, that was a good thing — and a bad thing.

Christie’s occasional run-ins with people at town meetings notwithstanding (“You’re a real big shot,” he said to one heckler), there was that time on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights in July: somebody cursed at him while he was with his kids.

The cell phone video wound up on TMZ.

Then came Hurricane Sandy, and we saw a new side of the governor, putting aside party differences to praise President Obama as they worked together on hurricane relief.

Amid the seriousness of recovery, he could make fun even of himself.

“I do not thank any of the stupid mayors who ignored my evacuation orders,” he said on a Saturday Night Live skit. “You’re idiots!”

That was scripted, but his encounter on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” wasn’t, as he recalled getting a man-hug from someone they both love — Bruce Springsteen — at a telethon for hurricane relief.

(Christie:)  “I went slow dance — I did.”

(Stewart:)  “No pat?”

(Christie:)  “No pat. I went slow dance.”

(Stewart:)  “Oh…”

(Christie:)  “But then he said the most amazing thing to me. He said, “It’s official — we’re friends.’ “

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