UNION CITY – Something did seem a bit off.
Amid reports the governor blew off a planned rally last week with local darling Brian Stack because “Bernie” was coming to town, a Phil Murphy get-out-the-vote rally was indeed held this evening in this congested and very Democratic city.
Sure, a street (38th Street just down the block from City Hall) was closed to traffic, a makeshift stage was constructed and a speaker basted – truly blasted – music.
But one could not help but think back a few months – just before the primary- when Stack shut down at least three blocks along New York Avenue and had a live band serenade the governor, who, by the way, was unopposed in the primary.
As we said, no band this evening and the crowd was smaller.
In public, at least, all seemed wonderful.
Mayor Stack greeted the governor as his SUV pulled up a short distance away. They chatted and then walked together to address about 150 or so supporters.
Stack, who in the classic tradition of Hudson County is also a state senator, said you couldn’t ask for a better governor.
If he has any complaints about Murphy, it’s that the governor is sometimes “too nice.”
That’s why, Stack observed, Murphy “doesn’t get the credit he deserves.”
When it was the governor’s turn, he presented his customary stump speech about progress made over the last four years and that it is “sunrise in New Jersey.”
And he took his usual swipes at Jack Ciattarelli, calling him an extremist and someone who doesn’t believe in democracy. Ciattarelli as governor, Murphy said, would be bad for both women and public education.
As usual, the governor ended his presentation by leading the chant of “Four More Years, Four More Years.”
But then, in difference to the city’s large Hispanic population, he switched to “Cuatro Anos Mas. Cuatro Anos Mas.”
Then, the governor was gone.
Stack still had work to do. He implored campaign workers in the crowd not to leave until they got their Election Day assignments.
You can’t forget about that.