Time for some political futurology.
Mikie Sherrill is not only a New Jersey political superstar. She is well on her way to becoming a luminary in the national political firmament as well.
I will always remember her emergence on the New Jersey political scene in 2018. Initially, I had greeted her arrival with a jaundiced eye.
The then incumbent Representative from the New Jersey 11th Congressional District, Rodney Frelinghuysen had been a close political friend and associate of mine. I had worked most cooperatively with him since the early 1990s when he was Chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and I was a Senior Policy Advisor on the Assembly Republican staff. Our relationship had especially ripened during my years as Bush 43 Region 2 EPA Administrator, during which he continued to serve in the Congress.
Once Rodney announced that he would not be seeking reelection, I gave Mikie a second look and indeed became a fan. I endorsed her 2018 candidacy for Congress most enthusiastically.
I have never seen a person begin service in Congress with a greater record of prior positive accomplishment than Mikie. When have you seen a resume that comes close to this: A top-flight Annapolis graduate, a supremely distinguished helicopter pilot Naval officer, a most effective prosecutor, and a person of the highest academic attainment, culminating not only in her Georgetown Law Degree but also in her earning a Master’s degree at the London School of Economics. The only person I know of who had a more extensive record of high quality accomplishment prior to entering into public office was Thomas Jefferson!
Mikie also has the communication skills that could someday qualify her as a presidential candidate. Her verbal felicity, fluency, and accuracy, combined with her warm and most charismatic personality have made her a favorite of the cable network news shows and panel discussion/entertainment programs like the Bill Maher show.
In the House of Representatives, Mikie’s center-left philosophies enable her to most effectively cooperate with members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle. As was expected, she became a member of the House Armed Services Committee. She also, however, became a first term “key player” by receiving the appointment as Chair of the House Subcommittee on the Environment.
So this is one exciting time to be Mikie Sherrill. And her campaign coattails are expected to be a key factor in enabling the Democrats to prevail in the 2020 special election in the New Jersey 25th Legislative District and pick up a State Senate and Assembly seat.
Yet as busy as she is, Mikie never fails to be prepared for any interview. When I called her recently for a follow-up discussion, she began the conversation by saying, “Alan, I am always impressed by the fact that you were a Navy JAG.”
Wow! I have many faults, but an insufficiency of ego isn’t one of them! Yes, at Northwestern University, I served as a midshipman, was commissioned as a Navy officer and after law school served three years as a Lieutenant in the US Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. But how did Mikie Sherrill, political superstar, have the time to find that out? Mikie’s question was good for my ego for an entire week!
It was the status of Mikie’s Navy background that prompted my phone call to her. An interesting phenomenon is that in 2018, three woman graduates of the Naval Academy were elected to Congress. All three were Democrats. Given the fact that in past years alumni of service academies entering the Congress were overwhelmingly Republicans, this is indeed an interesting development.
And given Mikie’s expertise on Defense issues, I have little doubt that she will be on Joe Biden’s short list for Secretary of Defense. I am known for diplomacy, but not subtlety, so my first question was whether she had any interest in the Defense Secretary appointment.
Mikie’s answer was a categorical no. Nor did she have any interest in another appointment by President-in-waiting Biden, although she likes and enthusiastically supports him.
I never asked her, however, regarding her interest in the position which is her ultimate destiny: Governor of New Jersey.
As I have written in a number of recent columns, the reelection of Governor Phil Murphy is pretty much a done deal:
Governor Murphy, however is term limited and won’t be legally permitted to seek a third term in 2025. I think there is a real possibility, as I have previously written, that Phil Murphy will be Kamala Harris’s running mate for Vice-President in 2024.
In any event, Mikie Sherrill is perfect for the governorship of New Jersey, and the New Jersey governorship is perfect for her. She is a wife, a mother of four children, and family is the leading priority for her. Living in Drumthwacket would be far more compatible with her family priorities in New Jersey than continued trips to Washington.
So Mikie Sherrill will be the Democratic nominee for Governor in 2025- and win by a landslide.
Now speaking of Insider NJ. We recently published “Navy v. Army: Peters Beats Bergen in Head Shave Dare.”
Now here is some REAL futurology fun!
The subjects of this press release, Republican Assemblymen Ryan Peters and Brian Bergen are both service academy graduates and distinguished veterans. Peters is a Navy Seal graduate of Annapolis, while Bergen, an Apache Helicopter pilot, is a West Point graduate.
These two men are outstanding legislators of high character and represent the hope of the Republican Party in the future when the GOP begins to emerge from the hell hole of the Trump years.
Now here comes the punch:
In the November, 2026 election, Republican Brian Bergen will be elected to the US House of Representatives from the 11th Congressional District. WOW!!!! A Republican West Point graduate Army helicopter pilot Brian Bergen will be elected as the successor to Democratic Annapolis graduate Navy helicopter pilot Mikie Sherrill!!!
Political futurology is not just fun- it can be daring!
Alan J. Steinberg served as regional administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as executive director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.