Where to start on this one… might as well start at the beginning and clearly preface this entry with what should be obvious: These comments are my own opinion and whether you like them or not doesn’t particularly interest me. I’m not a reporter nor do I have to adhere to a journalistic standard. I’m just a guy with a blog who likes to write and today I’m writing about politics in our great state of New Jersey.
"I sought a second term to finish the job. Now watch me do it." – @GovChristie during his victory speech
— Joe Palazzolo (@JVince81) November 6, 2013
Last night, Governor Chris Christie easily coasted to reelection along with his Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno. This was an interesting election, but not for the reasons that people typically find interesting in statewide elections. For example, the national media tried to make this a referendum on the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) and a straw poll on whether Democrats would jump the aisle to vote for a strong Republican leader. Those of us in New Jersey know that the national media doesn’t know what they’re talking about most of the time. Yesterday’s election had exactly nothing to do with Obamacare. Nothing. Not one single thing – at all. The election yesterday – and Governor Christie’s huge landslide victory – had everything to do with the way he handled the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Tangentially related to Governor Christie’s huge win last night is the way he provided strong, reasoned leadership after his predecessor absolutely destroyed our state’s economy and budget. Also, the Governor’s ultra-intelligent responses to spiteful, local teachers who tried to treat him like an insolent child gave voice to the vast majority of New Jerseyans who cannot stand the power that our state’s teachers’ union has built up over the many years of Democratic control in New Jersey.
But those are reasons why Governor Christie won the election. In no particular order, let’s look at why Senator Buono was a terrible candidate:
Absolutely No Clear, Cohesive Message
Anytime Senator Buono was asked about her platform, she couldn’t give a cogent answer that provided a long-term vision and intermediate steps to get there. In short, Senator Buono’s platform was, “Governor Christie is bad. I’m good. Vote for me!” That game doesn’t play well in New Jersey because we’re too smart for that rubbish.
Bending Over Backwards for the Teachers’ Union
The one message that Senator Buono was clear on was that she would do whatever the teachers’ union wanted her to do. It was true that in years past a (Democratic) candidate had to do whatever the teachers’ union told them to do. However, if Governor Christie has made anything clear it’s that the masses love teachers and love education, but they absolutely hate the vitriol and hate that is spewed from our biased, angry, spiteful teachers’ union. Let me restate that to paraphrase what Governor Christie said during his speech at the Republican National Convention in 2012: Republicans believe in teachers, Democrats believe in teachers’ unions. New Jerseyans are done with statewide elected officials who will do whatever the teachers’ union wants them to do. We want to help teachers actually teach kids – not hear the lies of a union that is years behind any semblance of relevancy.
She Was Too Angry And Too Muddled
After she lost last night, Senator Buono was about as muddled as a candidate could be in the wake of such a commanding defeat. She struck out against her own party (a huge political no-no) and what she suggested were elements actively working against her during the campaign. Give me a break. Apparently for Senator Buono when a Democrat independently assesses her credentials against Governor Christie and determines the Governor is the right person to vote for, then they are turning their backs on their party. If that’s not the biggest crock of crap that I’ve ever heard, then I’m living in Russia right now! What’s worse – after she lost last night she randomly tried to make the entire election about breaking a “good old boys” club by bringing in some of the comments from then-Senator Hillary Clinton’s concession speech during the 2008 Presidential election. Really? Sexism in New Jersey? Does Senator Buono even know the political history of the state that she ran to be the Governor of yesterday? Has she not heard of Governor Christine Todd Whitman? Or what about the fact that since we instituted the Lieutenant Governor position a few years ago we’ve only ever had women run for the position? Do I even need to get into the myriad women who are the chief executives of various state agencies?
An uneven balance of anger, kowtowing to equally angry unions, and having absolutely no message is what made Senator Buono a terrible candidate.