In a time when the 24-hour news cycle and reality television compete for our attention, political discourse often exhibits the performance values that media moguls envy. Beyond the clash of policy and personality, however, lie the most fundamental questions of political governance.
Political power in our society is generally not exercised by fiat. Our political system requires an institutional framework for the assertion of power. This provides stability and, optimally, the substance and appearance of legitimacy and efficiency. These are challenging objectives and the effort to achieve them demands our attention. The recent proposal by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to “take over” the casino district in Atlantic City is such an exercise in power.
The success of Atlantic City, despite the ongoing downturn of nearly four years, is well appreciated by the business and political communities. From the industry’s strategic perspective most recently, there are two central questions: How to emulate the success of Las Vegas’ appeal to overnight clientele and, more recently, how to contend with the emergence of rival (and adjacent) gaming venues?