Monday, April 17, 2017
Unpopular Governor fading away
The Outlaw Jersey Whale Chris Christie is ending his second term as one of the least popular governors in the history of New Jersey. On might suggest that you have to go back to Ben Franklin's Tory son to find one less popular. Still the Garden State Lardoon has his duties to attend to.
As the final months of his tenure in Trenton wind down, Gov. Chris Christie has kept himself conspicuously busy. He celebrated the opening of a new drug treatment facility. He delved into the intricacies of the Mets’ pitching rotation on a sports radio station. He dropped by the Prudential Center to warn children about the dangers of drug addiction.In truth he never should have had a second term but the dirty inside politics of New Jersey had the Democratic leadership selling out their candidate because they didn't like her thereby giving the OJW a free second term when he should hve been delivered to the ash heap.
This is not how he thought it would end, running out the calendar with largely dutiful tasks.
“Well, one, I thought I might be president,” he said in an extended interview in his office earlier this month, “so that’s a fairly material change.”
With a 20 percent approval rating that secures his place among the most unliked governors in New Jersey history, the final nine months of the Christie administration, which began in 2010, reflect a governor in a dimming twilight.
His legacy has been battered by a brazen political scandal known widely as Bridgegate; his once promising quest for the White House was profoundly quashed. Nonetheless, Mr. Christie aggressively defended what he said he had done for the state, and said he was focused on what he still wanted to accomplish.
“My obit will be fine; I’m not worried about that,” Mr. Christie said in the interview. “The first graph of my obit will be pretty, pretty good, and my children and hopefully someday grandchildren will be able to read it and go, ‘O.K., Grandpa lived a life of consequence.’ That’ll be good.”
But as he travels the state promoting his initiative against the opioid epidemic plaguing the country, the energy seems different. Gone are the throngs of national media who in 2013 thought they were covering the probable Republican presidential nominee. Gone are the nearly daily outrages and television clips of him berating an opponent or dressing down a lawmaker.
In their place is a man keenly aware of his legacy, evident in the battles he chooses and in the reflexive defense against criticism. He has recently supplanted his small-government conservatism with populist rants against corporate America — Amtrak, United Airlines and Horizon health insurance were his most recent targets. The rhetoric is in line with the Trumpian politics of the moment, perhaps as a way to rehabilitate his image as he ponders his future.
“You think about it, you go back prior to Bridgegate, his numbers were off the charts,” said Stephen M. Sweeney, New Jersey’s Senate president and a Democrat who has both sparred and collaborated with the governor. “You go from being loved to not being liked, it’s pretty tough.”
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