Strange Time To Be A Governor

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If the rule of threes holds, it's a strange time to be a U.S. governor. From bears in bird feeders to snoozing to Springsteen, Melissa Block recounts a trio of oddball things governors from Vermont, North Dakota and New Jersey have had to deal with in the last week or so.


If the rule of threes holds, these are strange days to be a U.S. governor. First up, we read last week that Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin was - and these are his words - within three feet of getting arrrgghh. No, not a pirate attack on Montpelier. Bears - four bears, to be precise, mooching in the governor's backyard.

GOV. PETER SHUMLIN: So I open up the window, yell at them to get away from the bird feeders. They kind of trot off.

BLOCK: But the governor told reporters when he went to get his bird feeders, one bear chased him back inside. Making the story that much more mortifying...

SHUMLIN: I sleep like many Vermont boys - without too much clothing at night.

BLOCK: In another story, yesterday, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple defended his tall, blocky, Depression-era state Capitol building when it came under surprise attack from the east, from St. Paul. It happened when Minnesota House Majority Leader Matt Dean was trying to drum up support to renovate his state Capitol building.

GOV. JACK DALRYMPLE: North Dakota - I mean, my goodness grief. Has anybody seen North Dakota's Capitol? It's like...


DALRYMPLE: It's like State Farm Insurance called; they want their office building back. I mean, it's terrible.

BLOCK: Ouch. Take that, Bismarck. Well, the North Dakota governor wasn't having it. Jack Dalrymple said the Minnesota lawmaker was ignorant of classic architecture.

And finally to New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie wants everyone to know he did not fall asleep at a Bruce Springsteen concert, despite what you may have seen on the Internet. The governor says some joker - those are his words - took pictures of him at the Madison Square Garden show. Yes, Christie's eyes were closed but, again, he was not sleeping.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE: You know, what happened was during "Rocky Ground," which is like, kind of a really spiritual song, people sat. So I sat up on the seat, and I put my head back and closed my eyes, to listen to the song. You know, when I was like, fist-pumping during "Badlands," nobody, you know - I'm glad no one took pictures of that.

BLOCK: That we know of, Governor, that we know of.


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: (Singing) I want to find one face that ain't looking through me. I want to find one place. I want to spit in the face of these Badlands. You got to live it every day. Let the broken hearts stand as the price you got to pay. Keep moving till it's understood and these Badlands start treating us good. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, Badlands. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa...

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