Gov. Christie is well on his way to challenging Harold Hoffman as one of the worst New Jersey governors (1935-1938) in the past 100 years. It doesn’t have to be that way. Hoffman blundered into the Lindberg kidnapping case. He “discredited himself enough by corruption throughout his political career, in particular, he wasted $300,000 from a South Amboy bank and blackmailed for $150,000 … He got into at least two fist-fights with reporters – a dark spot in New Jersey history.”
Great leaders are forged in the crucible when they are confronted with serious challenges that they successfully overcome. (Think of Churchill and FDR.) In times of peace and prosperity governors can be successful, but they are less likely to achieve greatness.
Christie today governs a state in peril. He has a magnificent opportunity to concentrate on the problems, work with the legislature, and secure a legacy for which he can be proud.
Creating solutions for Pen/Ben, our ailing economy, credit downgrades, crumbling infrastructure, Atlantic City’s financial morass, Bridgegate actions, low income housing, homeless Sandy victims, income inequality, and deteriorating environment would transform him from a villain to a hero. Just solving a number of these problems would allow him to be viewed for years forward as one of New Jersey’s great governors. Few governors have such an opportunity.