Perception is not reality but — especially in the political world — it sure is important. And misperceptions cause havoc and halt progress.
The post-budget reviews by opinion writers seems to castigate Gov. Phil Murphy for perceived weakness because he compromised. I know from personal professional experience how important this perception is and how much it can damage progress.
Years ago, when I was promoting a bill to require hospitals and other healthcare facilities to publicly disclose major medical errors — they call them events — I first met with State Sen. Joe Vitale, chair of the Senate health committee because if you want to get something done in healthcare in New Jersey, you need his support. Unfortunately, he wasn’t willing at the time. So I went to the other guy you had to consult and seek support of for such public-policy projects, Assembly health committee chairman Herb Conaway, Jr., MD. His committee took up the bill, passed it, and then it passed the Assembly with strong support.