The big man throws his weight around.
Look at this guy. He’s the anti-affectation politician. Which means he’s 180 degrees from Obama. Where the Prez preens and postures, the Gov rumbles and wrestles.
Yes, superficially this is an egregious example of white knighting, but Christie manages the trick without losing alpha cred. Let’s look at what he has done here. First, he stepped in front of Meg Whitman to handle a situation she seemed to be handling on her own. His action essentially telegraphs “I can shut this guy down better than she can”. Second, notice the finger jabbing into the heckler’s face. Major alpha gesticulation. Finally, after receiving Christie’s verbal castration, the heckler quietly nods his head up and down in agreement with Christie’s rebuke of him. This is a very common beta tell; you will often see betas adopt a posture of submission to a more powerful male rival, and head nodding in agreement is a major show of prostration. In essence, Christie shook some branches, beat his chest and bared teeth, and the lower ranking ape assumed the position of servility.
Chris is a different sort of alpha male than Silvio, but there is no denying both men are alphas in station and in behavior. If Christie has some game and a lack of scruples, I’m sure he could clean up with the ladies despite his girth.