By Matt Rooney
Let’s work through this together, Save Jerseyans:
It’s August 2021. Joe Biden is president (I know, but stick with me). COVID-19 cases have waned, but the economic carnage wrought by the Murphy Administration’s private sector restrictions hasn’t abated. Unemployment remains stubbornly high (it’s been estimated that HALF of the jobs lost since March aren’t coming back). Popular initially because of a perceived strong response to the pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy’s routine is wearing thin on Garden State suburbanites who have long-since run out of unemployment benefits and patience. The state’s fiscal crisis is deepening, too, and Murphy’s reduced popularity has encouraged Steve Sweeney to resume trolling the Governor.
If you’re Murphy… does this scenario seem terribly attractive?
Or would you rather be eating snails at a summit in some distant European capital?
This is probably why I’m hearing from my Democrat friends that Murphy isn’t campaigning for reelection at the moment; everything he’s doing is aimed at a cabinet position in a hypothetical Biden Administration. Specifically? Secretary of State.
That’s what I’m hearing from my well-placed Democrat movers and shakers. The conversations are happening. The hints are being dropped. It’s not like he doesn’t have other things he should be worrying about! Lovely.
Murphy’s decisions as of late start to make a lot more sense with this information in mind. On paper, Murphy isn’t a terrible fit for the job. Governor of a relatively populous state. Former ambassador to Germany. He’s got the “credentials” notwithstanding the fact that his tenure overseas wasn’t without controversy. A Democrat fundraising heavyweight, Murphy currently serves as DGA chair AND co-chair of the upcoming convention. He’s woke, too, so the party’s hard-left faction won’t object.
Would he do a good job? Of course not! This is reality… not paper. But there’s another thing working in his favor: the Media (incorrectly) holds him out as having handled COVID-19 well, and they’ll say it will help his standing on the world stage. The Media makes its own reality.
From Murphy’s perspective, a few years at Foggy Bottom could also serve as a superior launching point for 2024 or 2028 than New Jersey. For whatever reason, New Jersey governors have trouble converting their celebrity status to an Oval Office tenure. Remember Christie? Whitman? McClellan?
I’m obviously hoping that a Biden Administration REMAINS hypothetical.
All the same, if it happens (and it could), remember who told you Murphy might be the latest New Jersey governor lobbying to leave New Jersey. Events may move quickly if Biden wins, and then we’ll be talking about whether Democrats stick with Sheila Oliver or fight among themselves (always a safe bet in Jersey).
Save Jersey’s Founder and Blogger-in-Chief, MATT ROONEY is a nationally-noted and respected New Jersey political commentator. When he’s not on-line, radio or television advocating for conservative reform and challenging N.J. power-brokers, Matt is a practicing attorney at the law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele in Haddon Heights (Camden County).