If you've ever met Phil Murphy in person, you'd probably come away thinking he's a nice enough guy. He's polite, mild mannered and quietly in control of his demeanor.

That's what it seemed to me when I met him a few years ago at the radio station. He came in for a trial run of "Ask the Governor" in the middle of the day for an hour to see how it would go. Every governor preceding him had done it either sporadically or weekly for decades. Venturing outside the bubble of his progressive posse wasn't that comfortable.

The listeners to our station tend to be very informed, to-the-point and intolerant of political BS or tax-hiking progressive politicians. Needless to say, he hasn't done one since that day early in his tenure as governor.

His mild-mannered demeanor is serving him well as New York Gov. Cuomo is getting scrutinized and skewered over doing the same thing Murphy did early in the pandemic. They both ordered COVID positive patients back into long-term facilities. I know because my mother was one of them. Luckily, she survived. Many did not.

But Andrew Cuomo comes off as arrogant and angry at times. Phil comes off less abrasive and less threatening. He also doesn't have a line of young women accusing him of sexual harassment like Cuomo. Optics matter. They don't factor in much to critical thinkers who make judgements based on fact and policy actions, but to the public at large and the media that drives the narrative, they do.

Murphy doesn't battle with the press. He just quietly gets the message to them through his emissaries to play nice with Phil or you may not get the access you want. He can continue to kill the economy and squash our rights and liberties, but as long as he comes off as the caring executive that's trying to save lives, sadly, the public continues to somehow accept it.

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

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