They’re rattling, jockeying, all the potential statewide candidates, and amid the din, Speaker Craig Coughlin’s poised to say, “Don’t forget me. I’m here. And I will use the power projection platform of office to demonstrate.,.”
The Death Star’s full destructive power?
No, not exactly.
Specifically, Middlesex Power.
In ancient times, politicians leaned on generals to move armies to make statements.
Today, they lean on Twitter.
His chosen subject matter?
“I want to see seniors stay in New Jersey,” the speaker coyly tweeted. “People should be able to remain in the communities they built, with the families they love. I want to make that a priority. Seniors need more property tax relief.”
Coughlin is about to announce a big plan – a $1.9 billion senior property tax cut.
The plan doesn’t have the backing of the senate or the governor.
And it doesn’t emerge out of the Bessemer processes of extant front office politics.
Organizationally aligned, of course, but alone – and it absolutely represents a Charles Atlas-style muscle flex by the speaker, and by extension, Middlesex County, as the particles of statewide power appear at the edge of reanimation and rearticulation.
A jittery Menendez vibe ahead of his 2024 reelection (and a presidential election year) means a potential rejiggering of power, which connects with the 2025 gubernatorial tao, and senate prez and speaker.
Governor Mikie Sherrill?
Senator Josh Gottheimer? (If Menendez doesn’t run).
Or vice versa.
Not so fast, says Coughlin, and inferentially, Middlesex.
We – say Middlesex and Coughlin – have a preponderance of state political power.
Today, the speakership.
The senate presidency?
Sure, why not?
Because if the other counties can’t adequately cohere in time, the governorship may lie within the grasp of Middlesex and Coughlin, after all. Why settle for the speakership or the senate presidency, for that matter, if no one else can assemble power like Middlesex?
Senate President Coughlin.
But, wait, he’s not a senator.
In New Jersey, the fastest mode of signaling powerful intentions is to spotlight the needs – the tremulous and heartstring-yanking needs – of a vulnerable population.
Yes, of course.
Children – and seniors.
Children don’t vote.
Coughlin tonight gently asserted himself in the unfolding, volatile statewide quest for power.
Details to follow…