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Poll: Did Christie's State of the State Switch the Subject from Bridgegate?

The governor's speech made it clear that he has plans, but can he shake off the Bridgegate scandal and get on with business?

Earlier this week, Gov. Chris Christie delivered his fourth State of the State address, highlighting what he sees as his accomplishments and announcing a few bold initiatives. More time in school -- hours per day and days per week -- is in the works for New Jersey's kids, the latest addition to governor's hallmark education agenda.

Another hallmark of the Christie administration: battling with public employee unions about their members' pensions. And that's on the agenda, as well, with the governor decrying both those pensions and the attendant debt service, and intoning that the allotted money won't be going to "education, crime prevention, infrastructure, and other needed programs or . . . a tax cut."

But were Christie's pronouncements enough to change the discussion from Bridgegate back to the business of New Jersey?

  • Yes. He announced a few visionary ideas that need to be carefully considered by New Jerseyans. Through his leadership, he is demonstrating that the world is changing and our education and employee compensation policies need to change with it.

  • Yes. Whatever you think of Christie and the Bridgegate scandal, his remarks are sure to cause angst among public employees and Democrats. They are going to have to battle Christie publicly and Bridgegate will fade into the background.

  • I don’t know. Although Christie’s remarks were provocative to some interests, it’s not clear that these programs are high profile enough to derail the furor over Bridgegate. Plus, although it’s possible to deal with controversy on two fronts, it might not be so easy to negotiate them.

  • No. the investigations have been launched. They will become a constant distraction. Although both Christie and the Legislature need to get back to business, the political machinery will be grinding in the background and releasing information continually until the full story comes out.

  • No. His education initiatives have no chance of going anywhere because we don’t have the money. And picking another fight with the unions seems a pretty transparent attempt to create a distraction. The national press has gotten a hold of this story and won’t let go. Christie is going to find it hard to control the message from now on.

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