A funny thing happened to Whoopi Goldberg on her way to President Bill Clinton’s second inaugural in 1997.
She had a fight with the Governor of New Jersey.
Goldberg was travelling to Washington by car to appear as a guest performer the Presidential Inaugural Gala. She requested a state police escort for her 148-mile trip down the New Jersey Turnpike.
The request made its way to Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who turned her down. Since there was no public safety reason for the request, and since it involve a major public figure. Whitman had said yes to a police escort for Pope John Paul II when he visited New Jersey in 1995.
The request technically came from Clinton’s inaugural committee as a means of ensuring her on-time arrival. The governor of Delaware, Tom Carper, approved a similar request and Goldberg wrote a $61.50 check to the State Police for expenses.
Goldberg now lives in Llewellyn park, a wealthy, gated community in West Orange. In 2018, after just nine years of Garden State residency, Goldberg was nominated for induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. She was defeated by the voters.
Last year, Goldberg joined Gov. Phil Murphy on an inspection of a Covid vaccination center in East Orange.