If you leave New Jersey for a weekend, be ready for people to ask you about Gov. Chris Christie.
He’s the hottest property in American politics and the most compelling personality the state has produced since Tony Soprano. Polls say he is now the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.
But if they ask, be sure to tell them this as well: He is the most overrated governor in America.
Yes, he’s a skilled politician and a talented deal-maker who, for his first two years in office, got nearly everything he wanted from the Democratic Legislature.
But it hasn’t worked. New Jersey’s economy is a mess, even compared with its neighbors. The property tax burden is up sharply. Poverty is rising. And the state’s credit rating has dropped on Christie’s watch as the long-range outlook deteriorates. His successor will inherit a bigger mess than he did.