It was a virtual Noah’s Ark of New Jersey’s political left gathered to hear from their new governor-elect who started his remarks by taking a swipe at the current governor and his announcement today of a deal for the Gateway Tunnel.
“This is the type of deal that tells you a lot about why people are frustrated with politics. We wait until the last minute to take action and then you settle for some kind of deal that’s cut in a back room somewhere so that one side, or one politician or another, gets a win without regard to the impact, or for the impact that it may have on the residents who foot the bill,” Phil Murphy said.
Otherwise it was a feelgood pep rally with the governor-elect applauding the diversity of his 600 person transition team.
“I would like to invite the 45th president of the United States of America to come into this room and say, ‘Mr. President, this is the United States of America right here,'” he said to applause.
But the governor-elect hinted that the changes they all wanted to see might take some time to accomplish.
“I am an optimist. I know that New Jersey’s best days are ahead of us and not behind us. I know we can right the ship of our state. Nothing should be outside of our reach, and thanks to you, nothing will. Some of you have heard me say this, I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m not saying it’s overnight. The immortal words of the Chicago Cubs General Manager and President Theo Epstein are quite appropriate for us in this moment of time in New Jersey. When he took over the Cubs they were losing over 100 games and people would invariably stop him on the street and say, Mr. Epstein, I have an 87-year-old grandmother’ or ‘Mr. Epstein, I have an 84-year-old father, what should I tell them about the Cubs and the chances of their winning the World Series?’ And his answer is quite appropriate. He would always reply, ‘Tell them to keep taking their vitamins because it’s going to take awhile.’ So we will get there, maybe not tomorrow, but I promise you together we will get there,” he said.
Murphy will be in Puerto Rico Friday where he will tour the island and meet with volunteers from New Jersey who are still doing important work over there. His aids tell us that more personnel announcements are expected next week.