The theme of Christie’s final State of the State? Missed opportunities.

By Matt Rooney

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You might be expecting a voluminous pre- or post-State of the State piece from me today, Save Jerseyans, but I can save us all the time and keep it simple.

The theme of today’s final State of the State address:

Missed opportunities.

Make no bones about it! Regular readers have heard me say it many, many times before in recent years. As evidenced by the arbitration cap’s demise, Chris Christie will now need to accept if he hasn’t already how, like Nixon and Obama before him, politicians who don’t care about coattails don’t leave behind legacies (or at least not good ones).

Christie’s reforms (like the arb cap) were statutory and will now easily be reversed.

Democrat achievements (including a small business-killing minimum wage law) are constitutionally-enshrined.

The Republican Party’s brand in this state — and its numbers in both houses of the legislature — are hitting historic lows. Remaining holdouts are demoralized, pessimistic, and a “every man for himself or herself” attitude is quickly setting in.

What’s worse, the Democrats which Governor Christie attempted to co-opt on his aborted road to the White House will predictably and unapologetically undo the few remaining good things he accomplished in office, and there won’t be a resistance in place to oppose any of it because of the selfish, short-sighted political priorities established by the Governor and his immediate inner circle over the past 8 years.

It’s gut wrenchingly sad when you think of what COULD have been, e.g., a vibrant taxpayer movement in a blue-ish but winnable Mid-Atlantic state. I saw the potential back in ’09 when, with this blog in its infancy, I followed Chris Christie around New Jersey to cover and promote what I’d hoped he would accomplish for me, my family and my neighbors faced with the choice of digging in (h/t Bill Spadea) or cutting bait. 

It’s going to be even more depressing when we see next year’s estimated property taxes because none of the above ever came to be.

The only good that might come out of this disaster?

A cautionary tale for future generations of potential blue state GOP leaders who might find themselves tempted to take “the easy road” and, in so doing, abandon the revolutionary spirit that swept’em into office at their own peril.

That’s for tomorrow. This afternoon? I’ll listen to today’s speech and ruminate on over those lost opportunities. You can’t blame me.

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