- The Washington Times - Friday, May 16, 2014

There was a red carpet, good will and a certain intensity about this event, which brought together a noteworthy but unusual combination of luminaries that included a certain New Jersey governor, and his Texas counterpart. They both struck a presidential posture or two.

Perry, Christie, same stage. Friendly rivals, potential running mates - oh, the possibilities. What the pair say to one another could be fascinating.

The second annual “Champions of Jewish Values International Awards” was staged Sunday at an immense and opulent space in mid-town Manhattan where the style is Italian Renaissance and the ceilings soar 65 feet.

Among the guests: uber-Republican fan Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, Govs. Rick Perry of Texas and Chris Christie of New Jersey, Democrats Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii; Ron Dermer, Israeli ambassador to the U.S.; Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, human rights activist John Prendergast, master of ceremonies and organizer Rabbi Schmuley Boteach, founder of the This World: Values Network; philanthropist Michael Steinhardt and his wife Judy and actor Sean Penn.

Mssrs Booker, Dermer, Penn and Prendergast were honored for their efforts towards justice and human spirit among other things; the Rabbi also celebrated his 25th year in the rabbinate.

Mr. Christie held forth about America during his time on the podium, and met privately with Mr. Adelson in the aftermath.

Of note: The aforementioned Mr. Christie has clarified this week that the persistent Bridgegate matter will not derail his presidential aspirations, as many pundits suggests. The roadway scandal, he says, will have no effect.

“A far as the impact on my political future, I think it will have none - because I didn’t do anything,” the governor told a crowd at an economic summit this week in the nation’s capital.