In the spotlight, Gov. Chris Christie is 'hottest' pol in poll

Posted: January 10, 2014

CLOUT HAS LONG admired Quinnipiac University Polling Institute's spot-on tracking of national and state political trends.

Now we admire their timing.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in a marathon news conference yesterday about his staff's "embarrassing" abuse of power in the growing George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal, waved off a question about the potential impact it could have if he runs for president in 2016.

Christie also shrugged off "meaningless" early presidential polls by universities

Minutes later, Quinnipiac University emailed reporters the results of a "national thermometer" poll conducted from Saturday to Tuesday. It found Christie "is the hottest politician in the nation."

Christie, who spoke for nearly two hours, was still going strong as reporters scanned the poll.

Polling Institute Assistant Director Tim Malloy said the timing was "totally coincidental."

The poll of 1,487 registered voters across the nation had them choose a number between zero and 100, with higher numbers representing a "warmer or more favorable" feeling about a list of 20 Republicans and Democrats.

Christie took first place with a 55.5 rating. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came in seventh at 48.5. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, came in third at 50.7, tops for her political party.

Broken out by party, Christie came in 10th among Republican voters, sixth with Democratic voters and first with independents.

Corbett a Christie fan

Christie was a rising star in the Republican Party, serving the first year of his first term in 2010 when he came to Philadelphia to stump at the Irish Pub at 20th and Walnut streets for then-state Attorney General Tom Corbett's campaign for governor. That was followed by a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser. Nice haul.

Expect to see Christie again.

Mike Barley, Corbett's campaign manager, said Christie is expected to stump again in Corbett's bid for a second term.

"Gov. Corbett will absolutely welcome and appreciate Gov. Christie's support on the campaign trail this year," Barley said.

Nothing has been scheduled so far, but Christie "is an outstanding surrogate," Barley added.

'Breakthrough: 1978-1994'

The next installment of Sam Katz's engaging 12-part miniseries, "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment," will air Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on 6ABC.

"Breakthrough: 1978-1994" is the fifth 30-minute episode completed by Katz and is expected to be the capstone of the series, which is being shot out of order. Katz said the next episode will cover 1640-1680 in Philadelphia.

"Breakthrough" tracks the rise of Mayor W. Wilson Goode Sr. as part of the Black Political Forum, which aimed to make African-Americans more than just a reliable source of votes for the white men who ran the city's Democratic Party at the time.

The episode, including interviews with Goode and former mayors John Street and Ed Rendell, shows a time of great troubles but growing hope in the city.

Financial trouble stalks the city's budget as the Market Street tunnel sparks new interest in Center City from developers.

Ground is broken for the Liberty Place skyscraper on the same day police drop a bomb on the MOVE house in May 1985 that set off a fire that eventually burned down three city blocks in West Philly.

Goode says, "I feel I did all I could" in the MOVE situation, but he takes responsibility for the catastrophe that killed 11 people.

Arts & Crafts under I-95

Ed Kirlin, best known in political circles as "director of arts and crafts" for Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, has a new job as executive director of the Interstate Land Management Corp.

The what? Allow us to explain.

The unfortunately acronymed ILMAC is a nonprofit that manages the 48 acres of land under the two miles of I-95 that is elevated in Philadelphia.

It's a lot of parking lots, some landscaping and a great place to watch Mummers practice their New Year's Day parade routines.

Local 98 leader John Dougherty took over as ILMAC chairman last year.

Kirlin was awarded his arts and crafts moniker by former City Councilman Frank DiCicco, who often sparred with Local 98 and was the target of political trickery. It may not have been a compliment, but the nickname stuck.


Email: brennac@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5973

On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN

Blog: ph.ly/phillyclout

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