As my colleague Josh Voorhees has already noted, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced this afternoon that he has picked Jeffrey Chiesa, the state’s attorney general, to temporarily fill the Senate seat recently vacated by the death of Frank Lautenberg.
I think this is a wonderful choice. I won’t claim that I know anything about Chiesa or his political positions, because I don’t. But I do know that, last month, he said one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard a politician say. When New Jersey authorities announced the conclusion of “Operation Swill,” a sting operation that caught 29 bars and restaurants passing off cheap booze and rubbing alcohol as top-shelf liquor, an indignant Chiesa offered the following statement: “I wouldn’t drink rubbing alcohol in my house. It serves a very specific purpose: to rub.”
I don’t know why I find that quote so funny, but I do. Anyway, this guy is going to be a national figure now, albeit for just four months, when the winner of a special election will take his place. I think we can all agree that “Is he likely to say a bunch of funny things?” is the most important question to ask when you’re deciding whom to appoint as an interim senator. And I think we can also all agree that Chiesa meets that criterion. So welcome to Washington, Sen. Jeffrey Chiesa. May your four months in office be quotable ones.