Kevin Riordan: Looking into the future - with benefit of hindsight

Gov. Christie , at a Sandy benefit at Madison Square Garden, will retain his friendship with Bruce Springsteen if the prognostication app is to be believed. DAVE ALLOCCA / AP
Gov. Christie , at a Sandy benefit at Madison Square Garden, will retain his friendship with Bruce Springsteen if the prognostication app is to be believed. DAVE ALLOCCA / AP
Posted: January 02, 2013

I'm able to reveal the history of the future, thanks to an app downloaded unto me when I graduated from Columnist College.

Use of this power is restricted to emergencies, but a deadline for an end-of-year column qualifies.

So, unlike the speculative sort of look-aheads available elsewhere, my predictions are informed by hindsight.

The top New Jersey story of 2013 was that Chris Christie, as the governor, seeking reelection, managed to retain new BFF Bruce Springsteen after yet another eleventh-hour photo op with Barack Obama.

The postpartisanship ended abruptly, alas, when State Sen. Loretta Weinberg assailed the governor's plan to appoint Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi to the New Jersey Supreme Court. "Two white male rockers over 50 don't reflect the state's diversity," tweeted the Bergen County Democrat.

Speaking of age diversity, vintage Sen. Frank Lautenberg's office put out a news release on the occasion of his birthday, declaring 89 "the new 88."

Meanwhile, the potential Lautenberg challenger and undisputed Newark celebrity-in-chief, Cory Booker, guest-hosted The View and announced that he would subsist on an all-Tweets diet for a week.

And Garden State Equality's Steve Goldstein turned down RuPaul's invitation to enter a "Lip Sync for Your Life" contest with Reed Gusciora.

Goldstein instead turned to Facebook to thwart the Mercer County assemblyman's effort to implement Christie's suggestion that marriage equality be placed on the ballot.

Garden State Equality's tactical bromance with State Senate President Steve Sweeney, who also opposed a referendum, was adroitly maintained. The Gloucester County Democrat immediately tweeted a proposal to raise the minimum wage - for same-sex couples.

Elsewhere in Democrat-happy South Jersey, the Camden County freeholders secretly offered incentives to Hi-Nella, Pine Valley, and Tavistock to join Camden City in a purportedly "countywide" police department.

"With the addition of these tiny, but terrific, boroughs," the famously potty-mouthed freeholder Ian Leonard declared, "these other **** will realize they are **** unless they ****. So ****!"

Energized by their successful law enforcement reforms, the unanimous Camden County freeholders also imposed a 24/7 smoking ban everywhere except in PATCO's "quiet" cars.

PATCO quickly announced that every last one of its escalators was working again now that the long-awaited fleet of revamped rail cars had finally arrived from somewhere over the rainbow.

Back on earth, Cherry Hill voters who regained consciousness after opening their new property-tax bills promptly demanded the township merge - not with tiny Merchantville, but with the merchant-ville otherwise known as Cherry Hill Mall.

This grassroots support for privatization revived local tea party efforts to have Walmart take over the township school district and get rid of the teachers' unions.

Happily, as Snooki and her Jersey Shore reality gang fell off the radar, the real Jersey Shore rose again.

Christie was the top story. But New Jersey's post-Sandy comeback was by far the most stirring story of 2013.


Contact Kevin Riordan at 856-779-3845 or kriordan@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @inqkriordan. Read the metro columnists' blog, "Blinq," at www.phillynews.com/blinq.

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