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In his latest townhall, Chris Christie tried to resort to his old style of working the room. This time his ability to charm, deflect, intimidate and obfuscate didn't have that same old Christie magic. Here's why: people are no longer afraid and they are pissed.

The Reviews are in:

For Christie, Awkward Return to a Setting He Once Ruled

When Chris Christie started to talk over a complaining questioner, a signature tactic of the bellicose, pre-scandal governor, the audience here briefly turned on him.

“Answer the question,” some shouted.

When he took a microphone from a long-winded speaker, the man startled Mr. Christie by snatching it right back.

And when he singled out a young woman as his inspiration for repairing the Hurricane Sandy-battered coastline, he failed to grasp that the girl’s mother — sitting just a few feet from Mr. Christie — was angry with him for not doing enough.

“He’s full of it,” she said.

Monmouth Sandy victims voice frustration, disappointment at Christie town hall

Isabel Newson, a Keansburg resident, arrived at the meeting with a sign calling for the governor’s resignation, which she said was promptly confiscated by a staffer.

“I believe people’s opinions are changing, the longer they or their neighbors are kept out of their houses, the worse they feel about (Gov. Christie),” Newson said. “After the storm, people really believed in him at the beginning, but he hasn’t owned up to anything.”

At the meeting, there were still signs that Christie enjoys strong support in Monmouth County. Republican Rhoda Chodosh, of Manalapan, said that New Jersey’s federal representatives should be answerable for the recovery’s issues.

At Chris Christie town hall, woman says officials confiscated her 'Resign Christie' signs

But one woman sitting at the front of the bleachers came with a message, typed in capital letters on a piece of white computer paper: "Resign Christie."

It wasn’t met warmly.

Isabel Newson, 48, of Keansburg, said members of Christie’s staff told her twice that if she "didn’t remove the sign," she’d "have to leave."

Both times, Newson said, she refused, and the staffers took the sign from her hands.

Newson, one of the hundreds of New Jersey residents at the public event, said she remained in her seat and held up a third copy of the sign as Christie finished speaking in the center of the room.

"I invoked my First Amendment right," she said

Stile: Frustration boils over at Christie's town-hall-style event

Recast by scandal as a bully whose aides closed off part of the George Washington Bridge as a political revenge plot, Governor Christie strode before a crowd filled with Superstorm Sandy victims, and offered empathy and his undivided attention.

It worked — at least for a while. Christie entered his 110th town-hall-style event in Port Monmouth, a blue-collar Shore town battered by the storm, without his self-promotional video. The Springsteen soundtrack was dialed down. So was the Christie swagger and sarcasm.

But then Tom Largey, a Sea Bright resident whose home was badly damaged by the storm and who is living with relatives, confronted Christie.

Why was so much money, Largey asked, being spent on private contractors to handle the storm recovery, particularly Hammerman & Gainer, the Louisiana-based company that was quietly let go by the administration in December? After all, New York did just fine without hiring outsiders.

The crowd lustily applauded Largey, not Christie. The calm empathizer was now seething, defensive.

"What's your suggestion on how I should have done it?" Christie shot back. "Should I have hired thousands of new government employees to be able to administer these programs?"

"Answer the question!" barked one woman. Heads turned in irritation. Two men loudly cleared their throats

10:38 AM PT:

Update:  Oh, this is rich, the master of intimidation at work:

Gov. Chris Christie Posted His ‘Four Rules’ Days Ahead of Today’s Town Hall.

Rule # 4:  

“If you give it, you are getting it right back."

Originally posted to middlegirl on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:49 AM PST.

Also republished by Christie Investigations.

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