For Garden State Democrats, the reversal of fortune these past few years has been startling. For the decade and a half before Christie’s 2009 election, Democrats were practically unbeatable in the state. There were two main ingredients to this success: Demographic changes that made the state more diverse and Democrat-friendly, and the post-1994 redefinition of the national Republican Party as Southern-dominated, Christian-infused and ideologically far to the right; the culturally liberal suburbanites who’d happily voted for Kean, Clifford Case and even Ronald Reagan began fleeing the G.O.P. label in droves. Even when it seemed like they were doing everything they could to lose elections, Democrats would still come out on top.
But now they’re fighting for their lives, facing not only the prospect of four more years without the governorship, but also the potential unraveling of a down-ballot empire on which the jobs and contracts that give the party its organizational and financial muscle depend. It’s a turnaround that can be attributed to a host of culprits, but one towers over the others: The New Jersey Democratic Party itself.

Exit everyman: How the Jersey Democratic bosses destroyed Dick Codey and unleashed Chris Christie | by Steve Kornacki | Capital New York

For Garden State Democrats, the reversal of fortune these past few years has been startling. For the decade and a half before Christie’s 2009 election, Democrats were practically unbeatable in the state. There were two main ingredients to this success: Demographic changes that made the state more diverse and Democrat-friendly, and the post-1994 redefinition of the national Republican Party as Southern-dominated, Christian-infused and ideologically far to the right; the culturally liberal suburbanites who’d happily voted for Kean, Clifford Case and even Ronald Reagan began fleeing the G.O.P. label in droves. Even when it seemed like they were doing everything they could to lose elections, Democrats would still come out on top.

But now they’re fighting for their lives, facing not only the prospect of four more years without the governorship, but also the potential unraveling of a down-ballot empire on which the jobs and contracts that give the party its organizational and financial muscle depend. It’s a turnaround that can be attributed to a host of culprits, but one towers over the others: The New Jersey Democratic Party itself.

Exit everyman: How the Jersey Democratic bosses destroyed Dick Codey and unleashed Chris Christie | by Steve Kornacki | Capital New York

"Imagine a distracted, mostly disingenuous “it’s not you, it’s me” speech that drags on for nearly a decade at ear-splitting volume, interrupted only by canned crowd noise, the airy poompf of a T-shirt cannon and one 13-point loss after another, and it’s easy to understand why the prevailing mood at the last game in New Jersey was one of faintly nostalgic exhaustion."

— David Roth on why the Brooklyn Nets can scrub hard, but the Jersey won’t come off for Capital New York.

By Josh Benson at Capital New York

joshsternberg:

Great read analysis of Christie’s options. 

So it’s hard to see a White House bid amounting to anything but an all-or-nothing risk for Christie. Run and he’ll be pilloried by his home-state foes for skipping out on his job halfway through his first term, and for going back on a year’s worth of adamant, over-the-top denials. Plus, as a national G.O.P. candidate, he’ll presumably be pulled far to the right, further alienating him from the swing voters he depends on in his home state.

(Source: joshsternberg)

Who’s that big, Islamophobe-denouncing softie disguised as Chris Christie? by Steve Kornacki

So he has committed himself to threading a very difficult needle, appeasing New Jersey’s left-of-center swing voters in order to survive in 2013 without doing serious damage to the image that has made him a hero to national Republicans and a future White House prospect.

In this context, his defense of Sohail Mohammed is something approaching a political masterstroke.