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: September 22nd

Winners and Losers: Week of September 15th WINNERS Chris Christie NBC News reported Thursday evening that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has determined after a nine-month investigation that there is 'no evidence" so far that the governor had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures...

Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

Sports and politics do mix: Welcome the next NFL Commissioner, Condi Rice          There are many sports fans who insist on believing that old bromide that sports and politics do... more »
(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing. Wrap up your work. Do your job." - Gov. Chris Christie

- PolitickerNJ

Poll

Should the Joint Legisaltive Committee investigating Bridgegate 'wrap it up?':

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