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.

The Back Room

McGreevey expresses no desire to be power broker in Newark mayoral race

Former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey might remember that former Newark Mayor Sharpe James played a significant role in helping him to get that title. But regarding the highly contentious Newark mayoral race between candidates Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries, McGreevey told PolitickerNJ.com on Thursday that he has no interest in picking a side.  

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

Op-Ed

The future of NJ Politics should not be politicians investigating politicians

By JON BRAMNICK Voices around the country agree with our concern that "bipartisan committee led by John Wisniewski is partisan." Below are observers who agree Wisneiwski's committee is not bipartisan: Chuck Todd, NBC News: "Democrats made a mistake... Read More >

Contributors

(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

“The new agenda is charter schools. It’s a profit-making business. $500 million will not be in our hands. The school board is an advisory board. We are not going to tell the governor to unleash the dollars. Don’t be fooled. It’s not abracadabra. It’s politics.” - Paterson Mayor Jeff Jones

- PolitickerNJ.com

Poll

Who does Alieta Eck want to win the CD12 Democratic Primary?:

Resources

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