Mark Leibovich's new book Citizens of the Green Room is all about the complicated dance between authenticity and an agenda that permeates every exchange between a journalist and a subject, and that dance is perfectly exemplified in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Leibovich spent time with Christie for a New York Times profile published on Thursday, and the writer discussed with HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski his impression of the controversial governor during a Friday interview.
During the pair's conversations, Christie had a serious question for Leibovich: "Why do people talk to you?" The governor didn't understand why sources continue to feed Liebovich's dishy take on political power players. Leibovich told HuffPost Live that he thinks it's a combination of "vanity and maybe self-delusion" in politicians who think they can "charm" him into writing something flattering.
He also admitted he is not immune to those efforts, including in his interviews with Christie:
Chris Christie is a very, very fun and interesting and different person to be around. There are politicians who are less so. Scott Brown is an example -- I probably shouldn't single him out, but I just did -- of someone [where I thought], 'Wow, what was that?' ... Chris Christie is -- a lot of it's a schtick. I think it's true with many public people. But there's an accessibility there that I guess I was charmed by.
So how did Liebovich respond to Christie's inquiry about why people agree to interviews with him?
"I said, 'Well, you tell me. We've been sitting here for three hours, governor.'"
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