But at the same time, he gave us something to look forward to. He announced that he'll be running again for Governor of New Jersey in four years. Jack did a helluva job. No one ever campaigned more relentlessly or worked harder. Jack and Diane were an incredible team. They raised important issues. They made significant headway. They defied the polls and embarrassed the pollsters. They energized the New Jersey Republican Party. They attracted scads of independents and even Democrats to their cause. They took on powerful special interests like the NJEA (the teachers union) and all its dark money and gave them a real scare. They swept down ballot Republicans into office and gained state senate, assembly and county office seats for the party. They came thisclose to winning and, in the process exposed New Jersey's inefficient, patchwork election and vote counting system. And yes, they even made national news.
But, as far as we can tell, they still came up at least a couple of percentage points short. And Phil Murphy is now the first Democrat Governor of New Jersey in 44 years to be re-elected. The first! And he's already touting it and moving full speed ahead. And Democrats still control both houses of the state legislature. And the bloated, bullying, insatiable NJEA is still as powerful as ever. And Democrat bosses and fat cats still hold sway and will continue their wily ways no matter what they may say to the contrary.
And I'm damned angry about it. Damned angry!
Because the only way to win is to win. And in politics there's no consolation prize. The only real commodity in politics is power and the only route to power is winning. Almost doesn't count.
Let's face it: in New Jersey, Republicans have been gracious losers for far, far too long. We've picked up more "Miss Congeniality" prizes than anyone could count.
Yes, this was a tough, against-the-odds race but it was still eminently winnable. So, if you're one of those who didn't vote for Jack or undermined his campaign or needlessly criticized him or led people to believe that his effort was useless and Murphy had a lock on this thing, or simply sat this one out, you now share in the blame for what happened. It's on you. You sold our state out