Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Christie Coattails

Good thing he didn't run for president. That would have been downright embarrassing.

Although the results of yesterday's legislative elections in New Jersey showed Democrats gaining one seat, it denied Governor Christie any opportunity to gloat about a referendum on his policies or his ability to rally his supporters against an entrenched political machine. From the article:

Christie had hoped his party would pick up a few seats or at least break even, which he said would "make history" because almost every first-term governor’s party has lost seats in the midterm election. But that was a tall order because a new legislative map approved this spring continued to favor Democrats. 

Democrats said Christie has been unable to translate his national starpower into gains for Republicans in New Jersey. 

"He’s all coat and no tails," said Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), the state Democratic chairman.

The elections also show the limits any governor confronts when a redistricting map is drawn to benefit the other party. Still, given the national prominence Christie gained in the summer and fall, it's quite a jolt to discover that his reach is so limited in his home state. Does that matter to him? It doesn't appear to. According to this article,

And rather than consoling and recalibrating a defeated a state Republican Party, he planned to spend most of today in New Hampshire and Boston with supporters of Mitt Romney, whom he has endorsed for the Republican presidential nomination. 

Which prompted this response from Wisniewski:

"Tomorrow he’s going up to help Mitt Romney," Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), the state Democratic chairman, said Tuesday night. "I hope he does for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire what he did for Republicans in New Jersey."

 The governor and the legislature have an active lame duck session planned where they hope to address taxes, teacher tenure and the budget. The election yesterday doesn't change the math very much. Will it change the tone? We'll find out.

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