Let me be clear. I think Chris Christie is not qualified to be Governor and he has no coherent plan for New Jersey. Many of the writers here and in the press keep pointing out the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in his positions. Maybe this will matter to the voters. I don’t think so.
Voters want a change in how New Jersey is run. They look at the many frustrations of living in this state (e.g. high taxes, corruption, …) and feel government could be run significantly better. I don’t think they really want to choose change along the lines of what Christie or the Republican party is proposing. But they will vote for Christie if he is seen as the only agent of change.
Governor Corzine has done an ok job in a difficult economic climate. He has made some progress in putting the state on a better economic footing. But it is at best a limited amount of progress. I do not perceive him as believing that NJ government needs fundamental change. There have been too many incidences where he has accepted and continued the status quo by reappointing the same players and continuing the same policies as the past.
The prime example is municipal and school aid, which take up the lion’s share of NJ’s budget. The Governor has talked up consolidation but has no results to show. Instead, particularly with school aid, we have continued increases in funding levels. It does not seem that the Governor has a great enough interest in reforming schools and municipalities to fight the good fight. Can anyone point out any area of NJ government that has been reformed by this administration?
In contrast, President Obama is fighting for significant and fundamental change on a vast number of issues. For all the mistakes he may make, it’s clear that the President knows that there are a lot of problems at the federal level he should solve.
I unfortunately don’t perceive Gov. Corzine as being committed in the same way to fixing NJ’s problems (other than the immediate fiscal crisis). Do I think he’s a better choice than Christie? Yes. But I think it is challenging to portray him as an agent of change, and I think that will be the main issue in this election.