It seems that simply being governor of a major metropolitan population center will not buy you any special privileges nowadays. New Jersey governor Chris Christie was booted off of an Amtrak train car earlier today for being too loud while making a cell phone call.
Christie was apparently seated in the quiet car drinking a McDonald’s smoothie while making his call. Time reports that he loudly repeated phrases like “this is frickin’ ridiculous” and “seriously?! seriously?!” to the party on the other end of the phone. His volume became so loud that a train conductor asked him to leave the train car.
The governor was traveling from Washington, DC to New York.
Passenger Alex Mann witnessed the scene and described it to Gawker.
“[He] got on last minute yelling at his two Secret Service agents I think because of a seat mix-up, sat down and immediately started making phone calls on the quiet car. After about 10 minutes the conductor asked him to stop or go to another car. He got up and walked out again yelling at his Secret Service. He was drinking a McDonald’s strawberry smoothie.”
According to the NY Daily News, spokeswoman Samantha Smith explained the incident by saying that the governor was not aware that he was on the quiet car as the train was full and he had taken a seat there by accident. Once his mistake was brought to his attention he simply moved to the café car. She offered the governor’s apologies to all the passengers on the quiet car who were offended by the fact that he was talking too loud.
— Ed Hooley (@ed_hooley) October 25, 2015
Another passenger, Katie Klabusich, writer for feminist blog The Establishment, tweeted a version of the incident that matched that of the governor’s office. She added that he was annoyed but courteous and nonobtrusive.
"You're kidding. It's the quiet car? Alright" & to the phone "I gotta go, I'm in the quiet car. Call you back."
— Katie Klabusich (@Katie_Speak) October 25, 2015
Governor Christie is well known for being too loud as a general rule. In fact, it seems to be a signature component of his personality. He is frequently witnessed being both brusque and loud.
Amtrak reserves at least one car that it designates as a “quiet car” on Northeast Corridor trains. Rules on quiet cars include no cell phone use, no other noise-making devices, no loud talk, and minimal conversation.
No official word from Amtrak on the incident yet. Spokesman Marc Magliari confirmed that he had seen reports but stated that he could neither confirm nor deny any of the details. Magliari did add that it was routine procedure to ask those who talk too loud to move out of the quiet car.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) October 25, 2015
Wikipedia lists Christie as the 55th governor of the state of New Jersey. He served as New Jersey’s State Attorney General from 2002 to 2008. He first took office in 2010 and was later re-elected for a second term in 2013. In June of this year, Christie announced that he was running for the presidential Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential election.
He and his wife Mary have four children – two boys and two girls. The family live in Mendham Township.
After moving to the café car Christie was low key and enjoyed the rest of his journey in peace. There were no other reports from passengers or train personnel that he was too loud.
Maybe someone could take the saga of the governor’s bad day and write it into a movie script. They could call it, for lack of a better title, Too Loud on the Train. You never know, it just might be a hit.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]