‘What if’ Rob Andrews?

Rob Andrews’ retirement from public service has never been properly mourned as the great loss it was for the State of New Jersey.  He was one of the most accomplished members of Congress in the United States and he will always remain on the short list of people who should have been Governor for those of us who speculate about such things.

After 23 years of public service, former Congressman Rob Andrews became another victim of being a doer trapped in the most do nothing House of Representatives in American history.  He resigned this year to join a Philadelphia based law firm and become a member of the board of directors for the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute.

American history will record that Congressman Rob Andrews was a key co-author of the Affordable Care Act.  Whatever people think of it today, Obamacare will change America as much as Kennedy/Johnson’s “great society” and Roosevelt’s “new deal.”  Our Children will remember the role New Jersey has played in it because of Rob Andrews.

For many Americans, Andrews will also be remembered as the co-author of the Direct Student Loan Program.  Without this law, millions of Americans today and in the future would not have the opportunity to get a higher education. 

In New Jersey, every time we use rail or travel our streets, some of the money for transportation projects totaling billions of dollars came back to NJ because of Andrews’ efforts.  He brought back millions for law enforcement, firefighters and first responders.  He secured $300 million for the Camden Housing Authority to provide quality housing.  He assisted veterans and helped thousands of people with visas, child care issues, and other matters.

For Political pundits, Rob Andrews will always be one of New Jersey’s “what ifs”.  He ran in the Democratic Primary for Governor in 1997 and has been repeatedly speculated about as a candidate for statewide office.  In fact, right up until his resignation he was still on most pundit’s short list for Governor in 2017.

Congress tends to zap the energy out of people.  For a high dynamic person like Rob Andrews, his current stint in the business community will either redirect him towards wealth and success, or it will just serve as a vacation from a life of public service until he runs for office again.  Whatever his future, America and New Jersey is better because of Rob Andrews.

Donald Scarinci is a managing partner at Lyndhurst, N.J. based law firm Scarinci Hollenbeck.  He is also the editor of the Constitutional Law Reporter and Government and Law blogs.

‘What if’ Rob Andrews?