A Tragic Story Worthy of Italian Grand Opera
There is a learning curve for being governor. And in his short time in office, after only six plus years, Gov. Meatloaf, as his fans call him, is flunking.
He played hooky too much. His plans for balancing the budget, fixing the pension funds, finding money for the bankrupt Transportation Fund, solving the Atlantic City bankruptcy crisis were all in the category of the dog ate my homework.
As a part-time governor, his legacy included rich taxpayers becoming a leading export from the state, as if it was sinking like Atlantis, potholes large enough to fit a governor, and bridges falling down from over-use.
Among his other achievements: the lowest approval rating for a governor of New Jersey since Gov. William Franklin (1763-1776), a loyalist who wound up in prison for having bet on the wrong horse in the Revolution.
Like Rome, Trenton wasn’t built in a day. And we New Jersey folks are hard to please. We want to know how many days will it take?
He also had the delusional idea that he wanted to be president, spending months away from his day time job, building a reputation as a dedicated faux conservative, a man who got things done, balancing budgets and improving the economy. The only business he seemed to be good for was the fast food industry.
As a presidential candidate in 2015, he went to the trouble of losing weight. He shed his moderate principles for new ones so he could be as conservative as thou. Some people called him “a shameless opportunist.” Still he suffered deprivation, being forced to eat corndogs and poor pizza, while limiting him to snacks on the campaign trail. No sacrifice was too great for our boy as he stayed away from the office, ignoring the state’s Gordian fiscal knots. And then he shocked his loyal supporters by being the first of the top actors to bow out in the opera buffa called the GOP primaries. He threw himself off the stage after New Hampshire.
But he didn’t let failure get him down.
He decided to come to the aid of the Party of Lincoln, the Man, the Car, and the Tunnel, by running for the vice president’s job, attaching himself to the presumptive Republican nominee like a leech. He was fearless, becoming panderer-in-chief to the Trump candidacy, even before the debates ended.
We in the state were thrilled to see out absentee governor standing behind The Next President, as they say in politics, on the stage at Mar del Largo. He had that vacant look of a zombie or somebody worried about where his next slice of coconut cream pie would come from.
While continuing to set records for absences without a doctor’s note in Trenton, His Corpulence did pro bono work for the Next Administration, heading up the so-called transition team. It was like being a stowaway on the Flying Dutchman as it left its last port.
With the ringing first of the cast of thousand candidates (so it seemed to primary fans) roll-out-the-red-carpet endorsement, His Rotundity had every right to expect the VP nod. It’s all in “The Art of the Deal” and “The Prince.”
The Boss fooled the experts by going from New Jersey pounds to a Pence.
Alas, all that groveling and humiliation for naught.
It was a tragedy to see a 250 lb. weakling wind up as a 230 lb. out-of-work politician.
Our boy needed to come up with a second act.
His shelf life in New Jersey politics had expired. But he could always run in New Hampshire. He spent so much time in what seemed like our sister state the last two years, some of us thought he already was the governor of the Granite State.
He was a contender for the failed candidate seat at Fox News, a bauble awarded every four years to such distinguished journalists as Russian authority Sarah Palin and Pastor Huckabee, the pill salesman. It often seemed the Republican primaries were auditions for Roger Ailes to make the pick of the flops. This may change now that Boss Ailes is yesterday’s news.
There’s always the chance His Enormity could find employment in the Next Administration. His predecessor Gov. Whitman got the environmental job in the last Bush cabinet. Arrivederci Aroma is still the New Jersey state song.
With his background in law & order as a former Federal prosecutor, he might be right for attorney general. His best friend, adviser and consigliore, the man he had appointed chairman of the Port Authority so he could grant favors to his law firm’s real estate clients — David Sansom — had just become a felon, pleading guilty to federal bribery charges.
And there was still a chance the Guv himself could be indicted in the Bridgegate scandal, if they ever find his missing cell phone.
His defense was that he knew nothing about what his staff was planning to do in Fort Lee that week in 2014, even though he breakfasted with the alleged culprits every morning. That was his story, and he stuck to it.
Gov. Wide Load also would be the perfect candidate to fill the vacant so- called “Italian seat” in the Supreme Court. Actually, it was more of a divan when occupied by Judge Scalia (R.I.P.), installed to accommodate the late Justice William Howard Taft.
Of course, all of this is based on Trump actually winning in November. Trump is now morally obligated to give His Corpulence a top job. But we all know how good Trump has been on his moral or immoral obligations. Ask all the working people he has stiffed building his palaces. By November, the boss who gives signs of Early Alzheimer may not even remember he was elected President.
Hey, as they say in the Bada Bing:
So what’s next for our boy?
Will he wind up as a partner in a crooked New Jersey law firm, like his role model David Sansom? With his connections in Trenton, he would be a major asset.
Will he become a TV commercial star, as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Stay Fit or all three of them?
Or will he boldly go where no New Jersey governor has gone before?
NEXT: Act II
Aug, 5, 2016