By Patrick Murray | December 8th, 2010 - 1:02pm
| More

The national attention on New Jersey’s governor has taken a new turn – now portraying him as the anti-Obama.  In the past month, numerous commentators have found editorial fodder in contrasting Chris Christie’s governing style with the president’s, including an article in Newsweek.

Welcome to the club.  Observers of the Garden State scene saw this coming a long time ago.  Back in late January, Chris Christie had appeared on his first “Ask the Governor” program on NJ101.5 and Barack Obama delivered his first State of the Union address.  I wrote at the time, “Middle class voters want to know that their elected leaders truly appreciate the problems they face. Christie demonstrated that, while Obama fell short.”

That contrast in style has clearly grown over the past year, as the national media’s “discovery” of Chris Christie demonstrates.  President Obama’s compromises on health care and now tax cuts are condemned as failures by his own partisans.  However, when Governor Christie backed down on his demand for a hard constitutional property tax cap, disapproval was muted.

Poll after poll tells us that New Jerseyans are pre-occupied with their property taxes in a way that they have never been before.  Whether he likes it or not, the voters will judge Chris Christie by what happens to their property taxes.

He understands that.  This is why his style continues to work in his favor.  Getting property taxes under control is a long-haul project.  The governor needs to convey the sense that he is as frustrated as we are about the process.  His town hall meetings and designed-for-YouTube “rants” keep that message in the air.

Unlike the president, the governor is willing to draw a line in the sand.  His property tax “toolkit” is expected to be taken up by the legislature next week during their last scheduled voting session of the year.  Considering the fact that the governor and legislative leaders have not agreed on the terms, I wouldn’t be surprised if the legislature passes a package of bills on Monday only to have it vetoed, followed by the governor calling them into special session through the holidays.

All this makes great political theater and helps keeps some of the more doubting members of the public on his side.  But there comes a time when you have to deliver results.

The Obama presidency has shown that you can succeed in passing difficult policies but look like a failure doing it.  However, the reverse is not necessarily true.  You cannot fail to enact key public demands and make it look like a success by scoring style points.  Especially when we’re talking about New Jersey property taxes.

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 21st

  Winners and Losers: Week of July 14th The state takes a lot of well-deserved hits, let’s face it. But if you can shovel your way through the winters and the political sound-bites, you can get to the summers in New Jersey, which is where we are now –...

Op-Ed

Legislation needed to restore balance in election financing

By JEFF BRINDLE Much has been written about the magnitude of campaign spending by independent special interest groups.  But until now, there has been little discussion about the impact. During the 2012 Presidential and Congressional contests,... Read More >

Contributors

The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(7-16-14) Casinos in Jersey City, Not Sports Betting - Just as the US. Supreme Court was saying no to sports betting in New Jersey, a former Reebok chief executive... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »
New Jersey 2014 Primary Day Recap (6/4/14) - By the numbers. Worth the read for those interested in GOTV targeting and ballot position logistics.... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“Clearly President Putin has created the set of circumstances and has supplied the resources … to the rebels so that this tragedy could take place. For me, I think the West, including the [United States], has to have a far more significant response than we’ve seen to date.” - U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

- Fox News Sunday

Poll

Do you think Gov. Chris Christie's RGA travels benefit New Jersey?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources