Say what you will about Chris Christie, the man can laugh at himself—that is, as long as he’s the one making the jokes, of course. In attempt to remain in the spotlight while redirecting the national conversation away from his recent lap-band surgery, the gregarious New Jersey governor has decided to bring back the fleece joke for an encore. You remember the fleece. That notorious blue pullover Christie sported for weeks as a symbol of his commitment to Hurricane Sandy relief. Despite telling SNL’s Seth Meyers that the fleece was “fused to my body,” the governor eventually took it off, which was clearly a huge mistake as he realizes, in a new star-studded YouTube video, that he is nothing without fleece.
In the not-quite-viral video, the governor turned actor is at first unconcerned by the news that his precious fleece has disappeared from its glass case. “The fleece was so last year,” he scoffs. “I’m back in the Time 100 most influential people in the world. Bruce is my new best friend. I’m friends with Bon Jovi and now I’m back on Morning Joe!” But he soon discovers that his newfound clout came with a fleece attached. Mika and Joe are sick of him, he can’t get into a Bruce Springsteen show, and Jon Bon Jovi won’t give him the time of day. As the seven-minute-plus video carries on, we learn that James Carville is in cahoots with Hillary Clinton, who stole the fleece but accidentally left it with Alec Baldwin, whose wife, Hilaria, adheres to the “finders keepers” rule of life. This ultimate sequence is not only funny, but it makes the point that Christie can not only take a joke, but that he’s chummy enough with some pretty public Democrats that they’d be willing to appear in this silly video of his.
Christie has used this tactic before. Last year, instead of stewing in silent jealousy as Newark Mayor Cory Booker was repeatedly hailed for his heroism, the governor took matters into his own hands and made a video acknowledging how inadequate he is in comparison to the valiant Booker. Whether this video will actually make anyone forget about the lap-band surgery, or keep them from making 2016 predictions, is unlikely. But it does serve as a good reminder that Christie is the kind of guy who can take a joke—as long as it’s on his terms, of course.