"To the people of New Jersey, I say this: you voted for change. And today, change has arrived."
- From the inaugural address of Gov. Chris Christie
Republican Chris Christie became New Jersey's new governor this morning. He rode a huge wave of anti-incumbent sentiment in November's election. His most penetrating campaign message was 'Change.'
He's very Jersey (which is a good thing). He's got a nice family. If you judge him by his friends, it's fair to say he is generally a good person and open to ideas and perspectives that differ from his own.
And yet, after seeing the Republican Party spend the last year...
- completely denying President Obama's mandate for change in Washington.
- stirring populist anger against the government for problems created under their watch.
- abusing the legal process to keep Al Franken out of the Senate months after his victory was obvious.
- forcing repeated votes -- some late at night and in harsh weather -- to cause the most strain on the ailing Senator Robert Byrd.
... it is hard to be a Democrat and want to work with a Republican.
And today of all days, when the national GOP will declare victory in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race -- regardless of its outcome -- and go on to claim a mandate to completely halt the changes Democrats were elected to make.... Well, you better believe that it is a bad day to ask for Democrats to help a Republican executive be successful. Maybe it won't always be this way, but today it is hard to swallow.
A few lines after declaring the primacy of change, Christie said in his speech that the "era of partisanship and acrimony has not served the people well."
Today, there are many, many Democrats who will agree with him on that.