Corzine fighting his way back.

A New Jersey post for a change.

A couple of polls out of show that Governor Corzine is still in this thing, which is good to see.

Particularly, Fairleigh Dickinson has put the Governor within five of Chris Christie (42 to 47). Not as nice as being ahead, but it does show that the Governor has a fighting chance to beat back the negativity that the Republicans threw out there about him.

Like I’ve mentioned, I lived in New Jersey for the better part of 40 years. And if I go back Stateside in the future, it’s odds on the place I would live. Warts and all, you know?

I know it very well.

There are governors who try to fix things, and then there are governors who screw them up. Yes, the big bullies in the room are county level Democratic and Republican chairman who always ask for more, more, more AND/OR whose favorite word is NO! to any change.

From the beginning, that’s about what a governor has had to walk into and fight through. All of them have.

The pattern is that the last Republican governors (Cahill — see how far back I go?, Kean, Christie Whitman and her understudy Donny D) basically went in and coasted off the efforts of the Democrats in between. (Those would have been Hughes, Byrne, and Florio.)

It helped that, with the exception of Democrat Hughes and Republican Cahill, the Republicans were in office during economic expansions, and the Democrats when times were tough. This is Republicans like Kean and Whitman could smile their way through two terms.

But practically, Kean and Whitman made no substantial reform to New Jersey taxes or state government. In fact, the one raised both the sales and income tax. And the other borrowed countless billions to fund a tax cut for millionaires and to pay for spending that the Republican party bosses wanted.

If the past forty years does not convince anyone that there are no “magic bullets” or affable chubby candidates whose tough talk will change New Jersey forever, I don’t know what will.

It’s the guys who are in there working to improve the situation day-by-day. The tough small choices, made many times over. And investing in the future of the state, rather than relying on the “free market” to–again–magically come up with strategies that will keep New Jersey going strong.

Jon Corzine has a record—good and bad—but mostly good; Chris Christie is really an invention of backroom people. Some of them once powerful Washingtonites who did not have New Jersey’s interest at heart.

I am glad to see more and more New Jersey people are seeing this.