Christie approval rating stands at 73%, after long hovering around 50%; decent-to-great in this blue state. The event which launched him there was a hurricane he simply did his best with, as any governor should, as anybody anywhere should expect from a state executive. His State of the State address was a noun, a verb, and Hurricane Sandy. And he got away with it.
This guy knows how to position himself with media, and how to milk it for all it’s worth. Plenty of reporters have made that easy by covering him as an outsized, swaggering personality, and asking few tough questions. Because personality journalism is just so damn much fun, and so much easier. They push harder now, but it’s late in the game. Chris Christie is, for better or worse, gelled in the national zeitgeist. He can do no wrong, says the guy on the street (the woman on the street is still less likely to say so).
His failures include crippling unemployment, high property taxes, lagging economy, minimum wage below what New Jerseyans need and want, defunding women’s healthcare, continued insult to the rights of gay people, and reverence for the state’s wealthiest at the expense of the rest of us.
And yet, the Democratic Party is still struggling with the self-inflicted damage of Christiecrat enabling. If Christie is gelled in the zeitgeist, are the Democrats similarly gelled?
Just before the election, a very highly-placed Dem (not the one regularly writing here) told me the party would quickly coalesce behind one candidate for governor, to avoid a bruising primary.
That has not happened. We have one heavyweight with street cred approaching Christie’s, and he’s decided to knock on Frank Lautenberg’s front door. We have a short list still researching … conversating … mulling … flirting. Tick tock.
We have one candidate who announced early, is a Democrat who for better or worse caves neither to Christie or to the leadership she used to swim with. And yet the self-styled Anybody But Buono crowd snatches more of the headlines than the only candidate in the race. As though they look right through her and she isn’t even there.
I’m not against primaries, and I haven’t endorsed anybody. But I have to wonder why a party still getting its act together shows such disrespect to its former Senate Majority Leader. Agree or disagree, support her or not for governor. But I’m beginning to think some of this disrespect is because she’s a woman.
And there, I think I’m going to have a problem with you, Democrats. Prove me wrong.