By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Reports of Governor Christie’s political demise have been exaggerated, Save Jerseyans. Greatly exaggerated? Perhaps not if you’re following the blow-by-blow donor battle and up-to-date polling trends as 2016 inches ever-closer. Things look grim.
Could the bigger-than-life New Jerseyan’s fortunes change? Sure.
Starting with today’s budget address, in fact, but it’s all up to him. For the most part, his fate has always been in his hands. So why are they in his pockets?
The big news heading into today’s speech: some sort of deal with the NJEA. I’m more nervous than excited.
Regular readers know all too well how I’ve argued – sometimes to the point of self-exhaustion – that the best path to the presidency for Chris Christie (with Jeb Bush and Scott Walker in the race) runs through New Jersey. The Star-Ledger‘s Tom Moran wants Christie home, too, but operating on the assumption that Christie 2016 is over. I’ve seen too many sure things fizzle to declare anyone’s goose cooked until the gravy boat is empty, folks. Fact: embarking on a conservative crusade at home could help the battle-damaged Republican governor recapture some of his lost momentum after thirteen months of nearly non-stop complications.
Deep, unexpected budget cuts including the consolidation or elimination of major departments?
Sweeping new tax cut proposals?
Endorsing right-to-work legislation or something more modest (like restricting the prevailing wage)?
Leading the charge against a gas tax increase and campaigning hard for Republican legislative candidates?
Whatever the play might be, his schedule is certainly primed for a big move; he’ll head to Moorestown (Burlington County) for a signature town hall meeting on Wednesday, within easy range of both Philly and NYC media, and then shoot down I-95 to D.C. on Thursday for an address at CPAC 2015. The national and regional media will be watching Chris Christie, non-stop, for three full days.
If he woke up today determined to change the narrative and shift the focus away from scandals (real or imagined) and failures of the past, then a 3-day blitz of free earned national media attention is the obvious time to do it.
What the Governor cannot afford? Another uncharacteristically overly-cautious, unimaginative speech followed up by more awkward out-of-state travel. Let’s fact facts: he can’t and won’t be able to compete with Jeb Bush’s money and Scott Walker’s GOP legislature no matter what happens. He can, however, rediscover the formula that first made him a star back in ’09/’10 and try to reclaim the mantel as the candidate voters view as most likely to give Washington, D.C. a long-overdue high colonic. Today.
“It’s now or never” as the great Jon Bon Jovi reminds us, Save Jerseyans. The 2016 window ain’t staying open forever. Luck ain’t even lucky… you got to make your own breaks!