Tourists who arrive in New Jersey hoping to meet wiseguys, cavort with vindictive, cleavage-heaving housewives, and jam with Bruce at the Stone Pony leave disappointed. Late-night talk shows and reality TV have so caricatured New Jersey that we have, well, a reputation. It’s undeserved. Like the rest of the country, our state is filled with low-drama folks who are just trying to get by. We can forgive out-of-staters for misunderstanding this fundamental truth about life here. But we shouldn’t forgive our governor.
New Jersey is so overshadowed by that prettier, sexier, richer diva to our north that we have no major city or media outlet to call our own (apologies to Newark and NJ 12, but, c’mon). What we did have was a brash governor whose in-your-face bravado told the rest of the world that Jersey mattered. To many, Governor Christie was like the biggest, toughest kid on the block who chose to defend the weak and unpopular rather than give them wedgies But it turns out he’s just another bully, with enormous self-regard, a petty vindictive streak and contempt for the people he governs. If there are any two defining Jersey experiences they are, for better and worse, summer at the shore and rush hour on the George Washington Bridge. Chris Christie rose to national prominence by rescuing our beach vacations. He should suffer political death for putting us in a traffic jam.