He’s fighting an uphill presidential campaign and still losing popularity at home, but New Jersey Governor Christie reminded the state house – and a national audience – of his considerable gifts as a politician.
In his annual State of the State speech, he brazenly took credit for saving New Jersey’s economy and railed against Democrats in Trenton for moving ahead with a plan to constitutionally mandate payments into the state pension system. He announced he would dedicate $100 million to help fight substance abuse. He worked the camera like a pro. And when he delivered lines like “our best days lie ahead” it was hard to tell if he was talking to New Jersey or voters in the early primary states.
But for all of the skills on display, NJPR’s Matt Katz says the performance may not have generated more than “a harrumph from the back row of Assembly chambers.”
Matt joins us this week to “audio-tweet” the speech. He’s the author of the new book, American Governor: Chris Christie’s Bridge to Redemption. Along with Host David Furst, Matt highlights what Christie said – and what he didn’t say – in 2016’s State of the State.
The Christie Tracker is a production of New Jersey Public Radio and WNYC and featured on NewsWorks every Wednesday.