One of the lessons that I have learned most acutely over the last four years is that New Jersey can really be one state. This election has taught us that the ways we divide each other — by race, by class, by ethnicity, by wealth, by political party is neither permanent nor necessary. Our dreams are the same: a good job, a great education for our children, safe streets in our neighborhood and core values which give our lives real meaning. Those dreams are not unique to any one group in our state.

And, while government has a role in ensuring the opportunity to accomplish these dreams, we have now learned that we have an even bigger role to play as individual citizens. We have to be willing to play outside the red and blue boxes the media and pundits put us in; we have to be willing to reach out to others who look or speak differently than us; we have to be willing to personally reach out a helping hand to a neighbor suffering from drug addiction, depression or the dignity stripping loss of a job. New Jersey came together as one community when it mattered most and now we must stay together — people of every background and belief — the government and our people — to help our fellow citizens reach their dreams…

We will fight to continue to change government so that we value our differences and honor the strength of our diversity. We cannot fall victim to the attitude of Washington, D.C. The attitude that says I am always right and you are always wrong. The attitude that puts everyone into a box they are not permitted to leave. The attitude that puts political wins ahead of policy agreements. The belief that compromise is a dirty word.

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Facing investigations, subpoenas, and political attacks stemming from the George Washington Bridge scandal, there’s no doubt New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is in for a tough time in coming months. What many Democrats are mulling at the moment is how they can help make that time as tough as possible — without overplaying their hand.

“I don’t think he understands fully yet how this will derail planning for running for president,” says one Democratic Party official of Christie. “He’s going to have to spend the next six months to a year, when he should be hiring staff and building a national network, instead dealing with investigations he never imagined before. And that’s paralyzing to a person trying to build a presidential campaign.”…

[I]nvestigators don’t have to prove in any court that Christie committed any crime. All they have to do is create an impression in the minds of independent voters — the ones to whom Christie most appeals — that the governor is somehow damaged goods. If such a voter, in 2016, says of Christie, “I like him, but didn’t he do something wrong? I remember he got in some sort of trouble” — that will be a victory for Democrats.

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In the wake of “Bridgegate,” the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal, several measures of New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie’s 2016 presidential prospects are down, as he trails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 46 – 38 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today…

The biggest shift since December is among independent voters who go from 47 – 32 percent for Christie last month to 41 percent for Clinton and 40 percent for Christie today.

American voters are divided 35 – 36 percent on whether Christie would make a good president, down from 49 – 31 percent November 13…

“New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie’s 2016 presidential drive is stuck in traffic, sideswiped by Bridgegate, the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

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Obviously, the RGA chairmanship was tailor made for Governor Christie when he assumed the position on November 21, 2013…

The Chris Christie of mid-January is not the Chris Christie of mid-November, when on the heels of his New Jersey re-election landslide he was even leading Hillary Clinton in the early 2016 presidential polls…

I asked two Republican Party political professionals (who requested that their names be withheld) if they thought Christie should step down as RGA chairman. Their answers were, “Hell no,” and “Outside of the liberal media, this Christie ‘scandal’ has no legs.”

But maybe some “little arms?”

For if Governor Rick Scott’s weekend “hiding” of Christie is an indication of what Republicans can expect in future RGA trips, then Christie becomes a liability and his days as chairman could be numbered.

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Remember: the Republicans come into the next presidential election with 206 reliable electoral votes from states their nominees have won at least four of the last six elections. The Democrats’ corresponding number is 257 (just 13 shy of the victory threshold). These tallies leave five states on the table: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, and Nevada. And I’m not even sure if, with Clinton in the race, if the last three could even be called purple anymore. The Republicans have a lot of territory to reclaim.

They were, and I suppose still are, hoping that Christie could win it back for two reasons. First, and more obviously, he’d give them back the White House. But second, a Christie presidential win could paper over the profound and disturbing problems with today’s GOP. This is a party deeply in need of an internal thrashing of heads to pull it out of loony-land and back toward the center. Republican grandees know this, of course, but they’d much rather not have to go through this civil war. Indeed, the war could be cleansing enough that the party splits into two. Only Christie can save them from that possibility. The party would just become whatever Christie wanted it to be, and the Big Conversations could all be shelved.

Pretty high stakes. So the establishment isn’t going to give up on Christie easily. And of course he can enjoy the benefit in these next weeks and months of becoming a more sympathetic figure to the hard right than he’s ever been, because all he has to do to please that crowd is carry on about how the East Coast liberal media are trying to do him in. And it may just work.

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Tapper suggested that Stack may have a better relationship with Christie because he is a political ally. Stack said that he supported former Gov. Jon Corzine for reelection in 2009. “That was a huge mistake,” he added. “He didn’t do anything. He was never responsive, being a fellow Democrat, he was never responsive.”

“As for being a governor, I think he’s been one of the best we’ve had in New Jersey,” Stack added.