The Governor’s office says today’s speech is an opportunity to reintroduce the governor’s accomplishments since he took office in 2010. His staff says the speech may be the first time a wider audience will hear many positive aspects of his record.
Analysts also expect Christie to be upbeat — but perhaps hold off on specifically addressing the state’s most expensive problems until next month when he presents a state budget.
About 80 protesters were seen outside of the capitol building in Trenton today. Jim Keady, who is among them, says the governor should give up national ambitions and focus on helping residents who are rebuilding their homes, more than two years after Sandy. Keady gained notoriety when Christie told him to sit down and shut up during an October event.
One year ago
Last year, his State of the State came just days after media reported Bridget Anne Kelly, an aide in the governor’s office sent an email to David Wildstein, then an appointee of Christie at the Port Authority, with the message, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” On January 14, 2014 Christie addressed the controversy, “Mistakes were clearly made. And as a result, we let down the people we are entrusted to serve. I know our citizens deserve better. Much better.”
This year, he goes into today’s speech in much better shape politically. There remains no evidence that the Governor had a direct role in creating the traffic jams in Fort Lee in September 2013.
Now, much of the national attention Christie is getting is when he’ll announce his 2016 bid for president.
Ben Dworkin, Rider University political science professor, told NewsWorks that today’s speech is a good opportunity for Christie. “He was tripped up by the bridge scandal and it basically sucked the life out of the last year,” Dworkin said. “So this State of the State is a real chance to reset the whole image and projection for his administration.”
Phil Gregory contributed to this story