By David Cruz
If there was a lack of sizzle during this year’s Walk to Washington, it wasn’t for the lack of trying on the part of some passengers. But veterans of the walk say the days of the booze fueled trek to D.C. are slowly waning.
“With the advent of cell phone cameras, it is thankfully much more tame than it used to be,” said Sen. Loretta Weinberg.
“I think attitudes, societal attitudes, have changed where certain behavior is not accepted any more. … That’s a good thing,” said Sen. Gordon Johnson.
The Congressional Dinner, held in the Grand Ballroom, featured a keynote address from the dean of the State House press corps.
“Guy from New Jersey says, ‘I’ll do the job for $2,500 — $1,000 for you, $1,000 for me and $500 for the guy from Mississippi,” said NJTV News Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron.
After Aron, and without Chris Christie or Kim Guadagno for that matter, the remaining speakers did what they could to keep the crowd from bolting for the dessert bar.
“I welcome you all to Washington. I hope you survived the train ride. The question is, did Amtrak survive all of you? Since the last time you came to Washington, a lot has happened. We’re in the middle of an unusual presidential election year. Our governor mounted a presidential campaign, but if he had asked my advice, I would have told him that Amtrak is a lot easier way to get to Washington,” said Sen. Bob Menendez.
Increasingly, the highlight of the walk is the live edition of Reporters Roundtable where today, in the hours before Chris Christie’s Trump endorsement, Michael Aron proved prescient.
“I don’t know. I can somehow feel Trump/Christie. I think the two of them have a relationship. I think they were fairly cordial to one another. Nick, you just slapped your head. What was that about?” he asked.
“Oh nothing. … I can hear the chorus of ‘Oh, Canada’ in the background,” said Nick Acocella of Politifax.
Even halfway across the country, Chris Christie confirms to us all what Michael Aron always says: if you’re a reporter, New Jersey never lets you down.