New Jersey has a governor, who, if he didn't exist, the late Charlie Chaplin or perhaps Mel Brooks would have invented him. His name is Chris Christie and he combines the general world view of Archie Bunker with the screaming and yelling and general physical appearance of Ralph Kramden, two classic characters of American situation comedy,
In fact you might say that the people of New Jersey are victims of Bunker-Kramden syndrome, which individually means weight gain and possible high blood pressure, collectively, less teachers, police, fire and other public servants and a government that acts like it has turette's syndrome that is hysterical and sometimes foul mouthed outbursts when confronted with real situations.,
New Jersey has the strongest and most powerful governor's office in the country(changing that, making the office more amenable to the legislature, thus more democratic, is certainly something that would really change things positively).
New Jersey, tradtiionally is an old fashioned liberal labor state, a state with both a clear Democratic majority but also Democratic party machines, especially in the South near Philadelphia, who are blasts from the Tammany Hall past, more at home with Republicans like Christie than with progressive Democrats in their own ranks
I could tell you about all the horrible things that Christie has done and is trying to do---villifying the National Education Assocation and using K-12 teachers as punching bags, attacking publlic employee unions and labor generally even through New Jersey's, even though New Jersey's high per capita income is linked directly to its educated work force and its relatively strong labor movement. I
could mention his campaign to cut the state income by a further ten percent after New Jersey's huge debt crisis, most serious observers believe, stemmed from his Republican predecessor, Christine Todd Whitman's cutting the state income tax by 30% in hte 1990s, and other irrationalities--but what interests me are "polls" that suggest that he is a favorite for the GOP Vice Presidential nomination.
Let me say that many of my friends would love to see CC(lets call him that) on the ticket to get him out of the state but not at the expense of his winning.
Why should Christie be popular even with Republicans, where he has many competitors of both genders who look better. Is it the longterm effects of television sitcoms, the sub-concscious force of Archie Bunker and Ralph Kramden, made eternal by reruns, over the national psyche?. Is it the desire of those who want to go back politically to the 19th century to have political leaders who look like politiicans did in the 19th century.? Is there nostalgia for machine politics?.
I am especially interested in that fact that here in New Jersey the polls(which I know tell us very little) have men in significantly larger numbers supporting Christie. Does this mean that men want to look and act like Christie. Certainly it would mean an end to all self-discipline. Maybe it may even be the longterm negative effects of all the anti-New Jersey portrayals on TV, the expression of an inferiority complex
I say New Jersey is a great state, with all kinds of positive institutions and programs that other states don't have and that CC is an emporer without any clothes(however frightening that may be). I the GOP wants CC as VP they can have him. In a sense, they deserve each other. New Jersey and the nation deserve neither