Looking ahead to wacky N.J. doings in 2014

Watch Stephen Sweeney , state Senate president. Perhaps he will strike a truce with Republican Senate Minority Leader Thomas H. Kean Jr. MEL EVANS / Associated Press
Watch Stephen Sweeney , state Senate president. Perhaps he will strike a truce with Republican Senate Minority Leader Thomas H. Kean Jr. MEL EVANS / Associated Press
Posted: January 03, 2014

I can see the future.

But I will never use my powers for evil.

Let other columnists recklessly ruminate about what might happen during the next 12 months; my observations benefit from 20/20 hindsight.

So I can confidently predict that the biggest New Jersey story in 2014 will be . . . Chris Christie. Not simply for being his ever-semi-lovable self, but for single-handedly saving the "NY/NJ" Super Bowl.

On Feb. 2, as the "Superblizzard of the Century" bears down on MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ/NY, President Obama offers the governor a chance to join him for an emergency photo op aboard Marine One.

Christie blows off the president and, having thus genuflected to his party's fright wing, decrees that the bowl game be moved to the nearby Meadowlands mega-mall formerly known as Xanadu.

"I've offered so many tax credits to this joint, New Jersey practically owns it already. Sort of like the Revel fiasco, I mean, casino," Christie quips, kicking off a 45-minute pregame presentation that includes a bipartisan video tribute to himself.

His triumph is somewhat diminished, alas, after departing crowds discover all but one George Washington Bridge toll lane closed due to a "traffic study" of unknown provenance but plausible deniability.

That sparks a brouhaha amid the postgame Twitter hoopla. It also leads to falling on swords by Port Authority Republicans, as well as a subpoena tsunami by Trenton Democrats.

But Christie, who flies above the 50-mile traffic jam via state police copter, pooh-poohs the media's questions about whether he had anything to do with the latest bridge debacle.

"I was so busy saving the Super Bowl," he tells Jimmy Kimmel, "I forgot to work the cones and open the toll lanes."

Unfortunately for the governor, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is not the only bistate patronage newsmaker of 2014.

On July 4, the Delaware River Port Authority throws a party to mark the anticipated completion of a pilot project for temporary escalator repairs at the Woodcrest PATCO station.

But a party train packed with bistate, bipartisan dignitaries is delayed by the track-replacement project on the Ben Franklin Bridge.

One of the passengers, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney, uses the time to tweet a truce in his ongoing feud with Republican Minority Leader Thomas H. Kean Jr.

"Being mindful of my honorary degree from the Rabbinical College of America and the fact I intend to be the next governor . . .," Sweeney tweets before reaching the 140-character limit.

Undaunted, the state's most powerful Democrat continues to tweet and entreat.

"Come on, let's be bipartisan, Junior," he writes, deftly transforming what had been a term of derision into one of endearment.

The brawny Senate president's latest bromance ("I'm so over Christie, I almost wish I'd voted for Babs," he later tweets) is hailed by supporters of same-sex marriage.

Such nuptials become increasingly common in 2014.

By year's end, researchers determine that the same-sex effect on the institution of heterosexual marriage is roughly comparable to the impact of Y2K.

But I knew that already.


kriordan@phillynews.com

856-779-3845 @inqkriordan

www.inquirer.com/blinq

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