Chris Christie Bears an Unusual Gift for Zelensky

POTUS candidate presents Ukrainian leader with lyrics to 'It's My Life,' handwritten by Jon Bon Jovi
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2023 7:57 AM CDT
Chris Christie Bears an Unusual Gift for Zelensky
In this photo, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie shake hands during their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday.   (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

One topic that Republicans disagree on is whether the United States should keep sending aid to Ukraine for its war with Russia. Now, one GOP presidential candidate has just made a big gesture reinforcing which side he's on. The Independent reports that former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie surprised locals in Kyiv and constituents back home in the US when he showed up Friday in the Ukrainian capital to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky. And Christie didn't just present moral support to the Ukrainian president—he also had a unique gift to bestow upon him, courtesy of another famous New Jerseyan.

Christie's offering to Zelensky: a set of framed lyrics to Bon Jovi's "It's My Life," handwritten by Jon Bon Jovi himself. It wasn't a random song that Christie chose out of a hat, but an apparent nod to viral footage that emerged in March 2022, shortly after the Russian invasion had begun. That video showed Ukrainian citizens in Odesa preparing for an attack from their foes, all while "It's My Life" blasted in the background, a lone Ukrainian drummer accompanying the tune. Even the band itself got wind of the video at the time and responded with a repost of the clip online and the message: "This is for the ones who stood their ground" (one of the song's lyrics).

Christie says that when he mentioned to Jon Bon Jovi that he'd be meeting up with Zelensky, the singer decided to write the lyrics out manually from his house on Long Island, sending them by helicopter to Christie in New Jersey when he was done, per the New York Times. "He wrote it out in his own hand, got it framed, and I brought it to President Zelensky," Christie tells CNN. He added that he told the Ukrainian leader the song was "representative of many of the American people and what they feel about the cause that's being fought for in Ukraine." Christie is the second GOP presidential candidate to visit Ukraine since the war began—former VP Mike Pence met with Zelensky there in late June. (More Chris Christie stories.)

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