August 31, 2010
MORE CHRISTIE LOVE:
Christie Channels Reagan to Become Anti-Obama (Kevin Hassett, Aug 29, 2010, Bloomberg)
Christie’s cuts to school funding have earned him the enmity of the state teachers’ union, with 200,000 members. The governor asked teachers to agree to a one-year salary freeze and to kick in 1.5 percent of their pay to help fund their health care insurance -- most of the state’s teachers don’t contribute to their plans.
Teachers in many school districts refused. As he had threatened during discussions with the unions, Christie called on constituents to vote down local school board budgets that didn’t conform to his requests. Christie won the public fight. A surprising 58 percent of proposed budgets were defeated, making it the largest number of rejections on state record.
Just as Reagan did in 1981, when he faced off with the air traffic controllers union, Christie called the bluff and seems to have won.
Reagan became on overwhelming political force because of his ability to appeal to audiences beyond his natural constituency, as Christie did at that Perth Amboy gathering. Christie clearly has the same knack, and will become an irresistible political force if New Jersey can recover.
It is an open question whether it will, but if it does, then the Republican Party may have found a real star.
Posted by Orrin Judd at August 31, 2010 6:28 AM