More of this, please:
NJEA President Barbara Keshishian visited his office this week to apologize for a recent email sent to thousands of teachers by a union official that included a mock prayer for the governor’s death. According to [NJ Governor Chris] Christie, the conversation went something like this: He accepted her apology immediately but asked if the email sender would be fired for “doing something that monumentally stupid.” When the union chief questioned why the man should be fired, Mr. Christie promptly ended the meeting.
That’s from the WSJ’s interview with Christie, which will be refreshing reading for conservatives who may be just a little tired of situations where political rhetoric exceeds actions. In this particular case, the issue of the apology is just a vehicle for the real message: to wit, the Governor of NJ is not afraid of the teachers’ unions, so if the latter wants to win their current dispute with the former they’re going to have to fight for once. Given that support for freezing teacher pay in NJ is two-to-one in Christie’s favor, the governor is in good shape here.
Allahpundit is calling Christie “New Jersey’s Reagan;” which is true enough, except that Reagan’s optimism was from a somewhat sunnier time. Christie’s seems to be more more like that of a man who knows that he’s right, and that he’s got nothing to lose:
Still, allowing himself a bit of optimism, he envisions the impact if he succeeds. “What I hope it will do in the end is first and foremost fix New Jersey, and end this myth that you can’t take these people on,” he says. “I just hope it shows people who have similar ideas to mine that they can do it. You just have to stand up and grit your teeth and know your poll numbers are going to go down—and mine have—but you gotta grit it out because the alternative is unacceptable.” He also strongly believes that voters elected him specifically to fight this fight. “They’re fed up. They’ve had enough. In normal circumstances I wouldn’t win,” he says.
True. Then again, ‘normal circumstances’ in NJ for the last decade have been ‘let the Democrats raise taxes and run the place into the ground.’ Electing Christie was a Hail Mary move by the electorate; while his success may embolden conservatives nationally, it’s also really, really important on the local level, too. Which is something that I think that a lot of people online don’t really generally consider, sometimes.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.