Despite grumbling from conservative Republicans, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie had enough star power to pack in the Republican establishment at the annual Statesman's Dinner. A sell out crowd of 1,700 people at the Nashville Convention Center last weekend raised over $700,000 for party coffers, which Chair Chris Devaney described as one of the most successful of the events ever.
Tea Party groups and some legislators criticized the choice of speaker, while Christie was endorsing Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and attending an Alexander fund-raiser. He also had lunch with Haslam at a Nashville barbecue joint.
The two governors ran into a bachelorette party at the restaurant, according to the Tennessean, and an Associated Press photo of the bride-to-be in a cowboy hat and tank-top hugging the two gentlemen had Christie smiling and Haslam with a "get me out of here" expression.