If You Forget Everything Else about What’s His Name, Murphy Wants You to Remember This…

During the middle of a long – and not always exciting – State of the State address Tuesday, Phil Murphy offered this line:

“I have your back. I always have and I always will.”

The governor has been around for six-plus years now and that is very much the image he wants people to remember.

Forget for a moment about the policy positions. Phil Murphy wants people to know he cares.

Murphy got rich on Wall Street, but he never talks about that. But what he often mentions is that his family growing up in Massachusetts was “middle class on a good day.”

And he hints – as he did again today – that the government was there to help his clan when needed.

That has obviously made him to be the proud liberal he is today.

And so it was no surprise that Murphy highlighted the many progressive initiatives his administration has brought about since he arrived in 2018.

In no particular order, he spoke of a minimum wage above $15 per hour, the Anchor tax rebate program and a strong commitment to abortion rights, voter rights and strong gun laws.

He also pledged to do more to expand affordable housing and to help families with huge medical bills.

There is a bipartisan quality to the State of the State. Murphy, who likes pointing out and praising people in the audience at just about any occasion, made sure to salute a number of Republicans, including the GOP leadership and former Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno.

But he could not resist a swipe at Chris Christie. As he highlighted the start of construction work on the Gateway rail tunnel under the Hudson, he remarked that Christie’s cancellation of the project years ago was one of the biggest failures in state history. Christie – still running for president – was not there.

One other crack deserves mention. In talking about literacy in the state, Murphy poked fun at the Moms for Liberty crowd by saying, “Reading books is better than banning them.”

But then we were back to upbeat topics -like AI.

The governor said he understood why people may fear the advancement of artificial intelligence. But he said New Jersey has the chance to take the lead on it. Just a few weeks ago, Murphy said the state would establish an AI research hub at Princeton University.

In fact, he grandly compared the state’s AI push to JFK’s call to go to the moon – not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard – 63 years ago In fact, the governor called his AI plans a “moonshot.”  We will have to see how that turns out.

Last year at this time, Murphy unveiled an ambitious plan to revamp the state’s archaic liquor laws. That did not fare very well.

This year, there were no plans along those lines – unless you include the AI proposal. But that’s a long term goal, not something that can be done in 2024.

One major story this year will be First Lady Tammy Murphy’s run for the Senate. That would not be State of the State material so it was no surprise it wasn’t mentioned.

But the governor also avoided talking about a developing issue -migrants coming to New Jersey. As of now, the state seems to be merely a brief stopover for migrants being transported to New York City. But that can change.

It was a bit surprising that Murphy completely ignored the issue. There are no easy answers.

Maybe AI can help.



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One response to “If You Forget Everything Else about What’s His Name, Murphy Wants You to Remember This…”

  1. Reading books is a good thing BUT not pornographic books like Gender Queer for elementary grades. Tell the whole truth about these books so everyone understands why so many people are against them. If you think these books are appropriate, I would love to see you read this book and show the pictures at one of your town meetings.

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