Well, if nothing else, Jack Ciattarelli has Phil Murphy talking about the kitchen table.
Speaking today about his close election victory and Democratic losses in the Legislature, Murphy acknowledged that his administration has to do a better job understanding the concerns of many New Jersey families.
“We got to connect more deeply at a lot more kitchen tables in this state on the issues that really animate families,” Murphy said at his regular briefing.
This was a curious comment for anyone who followed the gubernatorial campaign.
It was Ciattarelli who said in one of the debates that such education issues as sex should be discussed not in the classroom, but at the kitchen table.
To which the governor snidely replied that there must be a lot going on at Ciattarelli’s table.
The Republican began using that exchange on the campaign circuit, accusing Murphy of “making fun” of the kitchen table, or more broadly, ridiculing parental involvement.
But today, Murphy was the one talking about the kitchen table.
The governor stressed that post-election, he is committed to doing a better job connecting with those who may not have supported him.
But the governor disputed the analysis that his liberal policies may have lost him votes.
To the contrary. Murphy said he thinks the many progressive initiatives he put in place actually helped galvanize his base.
Without that record, “We would have been washed away as well,” he said.
The governor did say that he sensed many voters were angry and frustrated over such things as job losses, a small business failing, mask wearing and other mandates.
In the new Legislature, Dems will control the Senate 24-16 and the Assembly 46-34. The numbers are reduced, but Democrats still have a working majority.
As for Ciattarelli, the men spoke last Friday – the day of Ciattarelli’s concession.
“We had a very gracious, private conversation,” Murphy said.
In his public remarks, Ciattarelli also said that he planned to run again for governor in 2025.
What does Murphy think about that?
The governor simply noted that he won’t be running in 2025. Two terms and out, that’s the law.