It is said that Benjamin Franklin described New Jersey as “A barrel with two spigots”. He was speaking to the fact evident even then, the two major metropolitan areas in New Jersey are New York City and Philadelphia. What are classified as “cities” within the boundaries of the state are urban nightmares even Jersey natives avoid. Camden has been declared the least safe city in America, Trenton required the deployment of State Troopers to control a spiraling crime rate and their mayor refuses to leave office even after having been found guilty of corruption, and just speaking the word “Newark” strikes fear in most Jersey hearts.
Among New Jersey’s long list of personality disorders is its fear of commitment.
Looking at the last twenty years, the position of Governor has been a tough gig. Years passed in which no one really knew who the Governor was. Campaign slogans were typically variants on “at least he’s not the other guy”. Jim Florio faced derision from almost the moment he was elected in 1989, bumper stickers of “Florio free in ’93” popped up in January 1990. He was replaced by Christine Todd Whitman, who was embraced for a few years until she fled to the EPA to get away from a New Jersey that had turned on her. A variety of appointees held the post until the election of Jim “Mcgreedy” McGreevey, who was only slightly less faithful to New Jersey as he was to his wife, revealing to both simultaneously that he was not only a homosexual, but he had appointed his long time lover to a position within his administration, and would be resigning as governor, husband, and father all in the same speech. At least he was efficient. He was replaced by Jon Corzine, a Daddy Warbucks type who found that flaunting your wealth in the midst of a recession is not the best way to endear yourself. After being injured while not wearing his seatbelt in a speeding car while his State Trooper driver was texting, Corzine just paid the fines and publicly paid his own medical bills, rather clearly stating he was wealthy enough he didn’t have to obey the law. He then went on to “misplace” one and a half billion dollars at his new firm before resigning.
Which brings us to Chris Christie.
The Star Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, endorsed Chris Christie for reelection as Governor last year. Tough editorial call, Christie was walking on the water left by super storm Sandy, no credible Democrat was interested in wasting time running against him. Barbara Buono took advantage of the vacuum and jumped into the race, but her policies alienated even hard core Democrats, she lacked party support, and trailed by more than thirty points at times.
Displaying the same level of integrity with which they haltingly endorsed Christie for Governor, the editorial board of the Star Ledger has decided to rescind its endorsement, just ninety days too late.
Still holding to the position that Buono was seriously flawed and “bad for New Jersey”, the Star Ledger says it “regrets” endorsing Christie, based on allegations of inappropriate behavior. I would like to allege that the Star Ledger is inappropriate to line bird cages with, as there is the distinct possibility a canary might lose it’s tenuous grip on life if exposed to the toxic opinions held within.
The Star Ledger still thinks Christie is the superior candidate for President of the United States in 2016, he’s just not “good for New Jersey”. That squirming is because sitting on the fence is awfully uncomfortable. How can a candidate who is not good for New Jersey be a good choice for New Jersey voters as President? Has journalistic integrity become passé? Do they really think their readers can not recall the last sentence?
Chris Christie is currently being tried in the court of public opinion. No evidence has come forward linking him to any of current scandals, some of which are only alleged scandals at this point. He openly admits members of his staff acted inappropriately, and has fired them (unlike our current president). Should any of the current allegations prove true, it might be appropriate to not vote for Christie in the future. There is nothing we can do about the past. What will the Star Ledger do if these accusations are proven false? Will they re-endorse Christie for the 2013 election?
A newspaper is supposed to deal in facts, working with hearsay gets messy fast.