And it’s mixed.
This isn’t strictly New Jersey, but it’s germane as hell when you consider that Gov. Christie is building a national future for himself on the backs of public employees in New Jersey. And Democrats and independents will want to know where the president stands – in clear opposition? Christie’s making NJ the forefront – along with states like Wisconsin and Ohio – of a national GOP attempt to shift public thinking away from its historical support of union workers as the bedrock of the middle class to a belief that union workers are the people greedily stealing from and ruining the middle class. But unlike the leaders of those states, our governor has skillfully maneuvered that message – here, but especially nationally to movement conservatives hungry for his 2012 candidacy – into big-league GOP stardom. Is it presidential? He keeps demurring, but he does it like wallflower who can’t stop lifting her skirts for all the boys to see. Especially the boys in Iowa.
But Barack Obama is the president. Blue Jersey, is the president’s message strong enough, consistent enough, and clear enough to oppose the well-funded anti-union propaganda campaign of Gov. Christie and his disciples?
You tell me.
Here’s a portion of Pres. Obama’s remarks, yesterday at an outdoor Town Hall-style gathering at the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, northern Iowa. The questioner is Bev Kromgezmi, a high school social studies teachers who taught some of the people in yesterday’s crowd. His answer, after the jump.
THE PRESIDENT: How was she? Was she a good teacher? (Applause.) You got thumbs up.
Q What can I say?
THE PRESIDENT: What did you teach?
Q High school social studies.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s important stuff.
Q Many unions, especially public sector unions, helped you get elected in 2008. Those public sector unions and their members gained their salaries and benefits through collective bargaining. Recently, those benefits have been under attack. And I realize that this is a state issue mostly, but what can you do to help support collective bargaining in the states and, most of all, support the public sector unions, the middle class, many of whom are union members? Thank you. (Applause.)
Jump for his answer.