On Tuesday, New Jerseyans are trading a scowl for a smile.
Outgoing Gov. Chris Christie, a county-level politician and lobbyist turned tough-guy U.S. attorney, spent eight blustery years as governor taking on teachers, activists and his political foes in Trenton and beyond. Delighting in confrontation, he made himself into a pugnacious national figure, a failed GOP presidential contender and, ultimately, an ally of President Donald Trump.
He’ll be replaced Tuesday by Democrat Phil Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive whose campaign was defined by the diplomatic style he learned as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to Germany — and whose smile is so affixed to his face that some politicos privately mock him for it.