It was an extremely close race. When it was called by the Associated Press for Malinowski he was ahead by 28,000 votes. But as more votes were slow to be counted with this unusual election year and so many voting by mail-in ballot, Kean wasn’t conceding. Indeed he had good reason. The race narrowed as the days went on. As reported on it was only a 4,400 lead for Malinowski ten days later.

Kean waited until there was no mathematical chance of him making up the vote difference. Thursday night, behind by 5,000 and no opportunity for that outcome to change, he conceded. Unlike Donald Trump he did not treat a gracious concession like a dirty word. Instead of pouting, filing baseless lawsuits and hiding in his office under a desk, he conceded like a man.

And he did so in a manner that still represented his party incredibly well. Here is part of his speech.

“Congressman Malinowski has my congratulations and my commitment for a bipartisan partnership in my capacity in the New Jersey Senate as we both continue to represent New Jersey in difficult times.”

Then he said this.

“The 1% margin between Rep. Malinowski and myself demonstrates the desire for strong leadership, but also for the need to find bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing our country right now. Our nation and the people of this congressional district need to look forward.”

Novel concept, right? Taking the opportunity even in a loss to point out a very close election meant there are many people on his side who need representation too, that there was no landslide, no overwhelming mandate, and went on to talk about the need to be bipartisan and start working together. For each side to start recognizing the other, and how about making compromise great again?

While having lost the election, Trump had this same opportunity and blew it. Blew it “bigly.” He could have conceded while pointing out Democrats could no longer kid themselves into thinking they don’t need to compromise and reach across the aisle. Not with his getting the highest popular vote total of any Republican president in history.

Someone give Trump Tom Kean Jr.’s phone number. He could use a coach on how to be a man.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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