Tony Soprano made everything Jersey cool. That ranged from our distinct accent (which linguists know differs from Brooklyn) to blue collarish (even among the middle class). The creation of this character could have been the platform for the state governor Chris Christie's rapid rise in politics. Quickly he gained a national presence. His signature was his Jersey accent, unrefined body language, and bluntness.
The acid test will be the 2016 campaign, if Christie runs. Will the nation want a Jersey sort to lead 'em?