Download Insider NJ’s 2019 Retrospective publication here or view it below
You don’t ever get to the end of the year in New Jersey without one last political bombshell going off, and as we dutifully labor to finish the InsiderNJ 2019 Retrospective we pause to ponder the latest.
This time it’s U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew providing 11th hour drama amid the hustle of Christmas cheer. His decision to oppose the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump prompted the Democratic Party establishment to pull the plug on him, shoving him into the arms of Trump, who oversaw his transformation from pragmatic Dem to New Jersey’s 2020 winner of The Apprentice otherwise known as Jeff Van Flew.
The congressman’s decision to cut ties with the party he came up in but finally felt alienated from sparked outrage everywhere. Democrats were angry. Republicans were angry.
“Jeff has played this little game for years, and it finally caught up with him,” said one Democrat, speaking on condition of anonymity, as he considered Van Drew’s track record of providing crunch time Senate Budget Committee votes to Gov. Chris Christie, who through Van Drew added another layer of political adhesive to the South Jersey Democratic Machine.
Others – staffers and longtime backers of the always nattily attired congressman – said they felt flat out heartbroken. In their eyes, their always pragmatic and intelligent champion was far from the wild-eyed transgressions of the president.
And yet, it would be done…