Vanquished New Jersey Politician Quotes de Tocqueville
SPRINGFIELD – This was good-bye, but then again, maybe it wasn’t.
Tom Malinowski entered the local high school auditorium Saturday morning and about 350 people stood and clapped.
“Thank you, Tom,” someone yelled.
The CD-7 congressman was holding a “farewell town hall.” It came about a month after Malinowski lost reelection and three weeks or so before his term ends.
For close to two hours, Malinowski spoke about what’s happening in Washington and answered a wide range of questions. Nothing new about that.
By his count, Malinowski has held about 140 town halls since first elected in 2018.
He began by referencing de Tocqueville’s observation more than 150 years ago that being “accountable” to the people is how politics and government is supposed to work.
Malinowski ticked off some of the accomplishments of the current Democratic-run House.
They included the infrastructure bill, the CHIPs act to boost manufacturing, a commitment to combat climate change and lowering drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate costs. He said that the chief “non-accomplishment” was a failure to produce an immigration reform package.
He described his tenure, which included two years of Donald Trump and Jan. 6. as “amazing anxiety and at the same time, success.”
The crowd listened politely, but many wanted to know what he was going to do when he left office.
Run again in 2024?
“If you ask me if I will, I’m not going to tell you. I don’t know,” he said.
Malinowski is newly married and he said post-election night that he plans to take a honeymoon. On Saturday, he said where he and his wife plan to go – an African safari. That beats Niagara Falls.
He was less descriptive about any professional plans other than to say, he wants to do something “useful.”
That, evidently, rules out a few things.
“I’m not going to go and be a lobbyist,:” Malinowski said.
That’s interesting when you consider that many former members of Congress do precisely that, and thereby seek favors from their old colleagues.
This was officially a congressional event, but you can’t avoid partisan politics.
One man asked what “we” can do to make Tom Kean Jr., who hasn’t been sworn in yet, a one-term congressman.
Malinowski said he wasn’t going to talk about that, diplomatically adding, “My hope is that he does a good job.”:
OK, but it’s not humanly possible to ignore all political concerns.
As mentioned, Malinowski has held more than 100 public interactions with constituents. Some were big, some were small, some were virtual.
Kean seldom engaged with the general public and the press during his campaign.
So, what’s going to happen when Kean takes office on Jan. 3.
For what it’s worth, Malinowski opined, “You cannot represent the Seventh District of New Jersey from witness protection.”
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Tom Malinowski was the best representative this district has ever known. My message to the people who voted for Tom Kean is “Ignorance is bliss.”