Sorry You Voted for Christie? [POLL]
In the case of the Newark Star Ledger, hindsight is 20/20 – or so it would seem to be the case for columnist and editorial board member Tom Moran.
His piece about having endorsed Chris Christie being regrettable seems to caught the attention of the national media.
Well, let’s go back to the editorial itself.
One would have to agree it was not exactly a rousing endorsement. Quite the contrary, it was an admission along the lines of saying, “…hey, we need to pick a horse in this race. Let’s just go with the favorite!”
And go chalk they did – much to their dismay.
Even before this scandal train got rolling, this endorsement was a close call and a split vote among the editorial board. We regard Christie as the most overrated politician in the country, at least until now, a man who is better at talking than governing. We criticized him for trashing the working poor, for his tea party approach to the environment, for his opposition to gay marriage and a livable minimum wage. And so on.
But there is more to it. Christie has made good progress on education with a focus on struggling cities, especially Newark and Camden. His pension and health reforms helped contain public costs that were spiraling out of control.
And let’s not forget his opponent, Sen. Barbara Buono. She was not up to the job of being governor — even in the view of many Democrats. She got the party’s nomination because more credible candidates, including Cory Booker, backed out in the face of Christie’s strength.
And on education, the most important issue for any governor, Buono ran well to the left of President Obama. She embraced the state’s regressive teachers’ union and its relentless efforts to protect bad teachers and stunt the growth of even the best charter schools.
So we swallowed our hesitations and endorsed Christie, complete with our long list of deep reservations.
Now, the governor is in a free fall in the polls, and liberals everywhere are rejoicing. And yes, it is delicious to see a bully like him lose the swagger.
But be careful. Because if you turn your focus to the presidential race in 2016, you might wind up facing the same dilemma we did in the fall.
If one of the tea party favorites gets the Republican nomination, then the country is at risk. Because as we have just seen, one scandal can flip the board in politics. What if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, and some dark secret emerges about her tenure as secretary of state? How does President Rand Paul sound to you?
Now ask yourself this: If the Republican primary came to a choice between Paul and Christie, which candidate would you endorse?
At the risk of repeating a mistake, (Moran writes) I’d pick Christie in that primary, even now.
This again, despite the allegations of abuse of power regarding the GWB mess. This again despite the alleged use of Sandy aid funds as a payment for favors. This despite the appearance of having a staff that seems to be out of control.
Makes sense, right? Nah!
Personally I have no regret. I’d do it again.
If there’s one thing I’m disappointed with right now, is the expectation that the Governor was going to be a different kind of politician….the “white knight” who was going to rout the much ballyhooed culture of corruption. Much like the line in the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!”
Given that, he has shown himself to be capable of working across the aisle to get things done. As much as we still complain about property taxes, we do have the 2 percent cap in place. We do have tenure reform. And much to the chagrin of a good many, he did, either to his credit or not, sign the DREAM Act.
Should Chris Christie somehow wind up in a hypothetical matchup against Hillary Clinton – I’d still go Christie.
Let’s remember this. Much has come out following the November election. No one gets to aspire to higher office without eventually having their peccadilloes exposed. Picking and choosing a candidate for higher office is, and I’m sure always will be, a choice of the lesser of evils.
If given the choice between Hillary and Chris, which way would you go – given the number of “peccadilloes” you already know about?