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GQ Honors Christie, Gandolfini in Year-End Issue

James Gandolfini and Governor Chris Christie
James Gandolfini and Governor Chris Christie (Gandolfini: Rich Schultz, Getty Images. Christie: Annette Petriccione, Townsquare Media NJ)

GQ magazine honors Gov. Chris Christie and the late James Gandolfini in its end of the year issue.

 

The December issue of GQ
The cover of the December issue of GQ (GQ)

The magazine compares Gov. Chris Christie walking New Jersey’s boardwalks after Superstorm Sandy to Charles de Gaulle’s march down the Champs-Élysées during the liberation of France in naming Christie their “Boss of the Year” in its December issue while also honoring the late James Gandolfini as it’s “Icon of the Year.”

A trip to Ocean City’s boardwalk last summer was cited by the mens magazine as an example of why GQ says Christie “might be the only politician in America who had a good 2013. The governor arrived for a half-hour walk but was mobbed for 90 minutes posing for pictures, hugging 38 women and 11 men, kissing 9 babies, turning down offers of food and staying in the same spot for 90 minutes.

A boss with a shoulder to cry on, fighting for federal dollars following Sandy and “a lone voice of reason in an increasingly insane GOP” are what makes him a “happy warrior” to GQ, in its “Men of the Year” issue with Justin Timberlake on the cover with honors for Matthew McConaughey, Will Ferrell, “Breaking Bad,” Michael B. Jordan and the late James Gandolfini.

The story also calls Christie “the only politician in America who has mastered the art of the selfie” and recalls him helping a nervous husband take a picture of Christie and his wife.  Here, give me that,” Christie said, taking the phone from him and draping is arm around her and snapping the selfie. You’ve messed this up already! We’re taking care of it ourselves, you see? You’re fired!” he joked.

Icon of the Year

Actress Edie Falco pays tribute to the late James Gandolfini onstage during the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
Actress Edie Falco pays tribute to the late James Gandolfini onstage during the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

GQ honors Gandolfini as its “Icon of the Year” and talks to Pittsburgh watchmaker Michael Kobold, a watch maker who says he was the “Sopranos” star’s best friend. Kobold says when the HBO series ended Gandolfini wanted to get away from his character of Tony Soprano and  “not be that guy.” They found a connection in watches: “I make them; he loved collecting them,” said Kobold.

They struck up a friendship that found Gandolfini designing a watch to fit his oversized wrist and not allowing him to return to Pittsburgh until he agreed to break up with a girlfriend he was going to propose to.

Kobold acted as a family spokesman in Rome in the days after Gandolfini’s death. He talks about how he cleaned up Gandolfini’s room and arranged for a private plane to fly his body to the United States. “If you have a choice in the matter, don’t die overseas. Dying abroad is complicated. And dying in Italy, where the red tape is always knotted, is infinitely more so.”

After press conferences and meetings it struck him that his best friend had died. “My good friend, one of the greatest influences on my life, was gone, and he wasn’t coming back,” mused Kobald.

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