Chris Christie

Run, Chris, Run.

We’re hearing a battery of bleats out there about Governor Chris Christie as a possible presidential candidate. And were it based only on the tough choices he has forced his state to confront, and the skill with which he’s stood up to his state’s unions and their rent-a-goons, you’d have to say that he might just be a good choice if he could be convinced to run. That’s if you didn’t look any farther… I did, as have some other people.

If you look at what Christie has said on some very key issues for Conservatives, the luster starts to dull. He has stated that he wants to see ‘A Pathway To Citizenship’ for illegal immigrants. Sounds a little like our erstwhile presidential candidate, doesn’t it?

Even more troubling for Conservatives will be the Governor’s view of the Second Amendment. It won’t take much more research than to look up Christie’s 1995 anti-gun ad campaign during his run for State Assembly. That would do it for most Patriot gunners right there, I’m sure.

The final nail in Chris Cristie’s presidential aspirations should be his espousal of ‘green energy’, which is scarily reminiscent of The Anointed One’s assault on domestic energy production, and the coal industry in particular.

So it would seem that for all Mr. Christie’s accomplishments in reigning in New Jersey’s wild excesses… he is, in fact, another Republican In Name Only. It is my firm belief that this country cannot survive with a moderate RINO at the helm.

Keep your eyes and ears wide open. Don’t let the LSM (lame stream media) or the establishment Repubics foist more phony candidates on us. They both like to use the same means to different ends.

The way I read it, the establishment old guard aren’t even that adverse to losing an election, as long as it maintains them in their ‘comfort zone’… which then logically and tragically becomes our discomfort zone.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2011

"Shared sacrifice" = pouring gasoline on the fire

I don't blog much about CT state politics. Frankly, I doubt the rest of the country cares much, and I also try and give the locals some slack as to trying to do their business.

The Wall Street Journal is a bit less reticent, especially as new Governor Dannel Malloy styles himself the "anti-Christie".  Malloy's idea was that CT should increase revenues in order to limit budget cuts. So, is "shared sacrifice" a political winner?

Hmmm, it may be running into a brick wall at the local gas pump.

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) - Governor Malloy's state budget plan appears to be heading for a crash over the gas tax.

 With gas prices going up by the day, members of Malloy's own political party are balking at voting for a plan that includes a hike in the gas tax. Democratic leaders over at the State Capitol say they intend to vote on the Malloy budget plan by Tuesday, but this is holding things up. At one gas station across from the Capitol Complex regular was $4.36 a gallon today, and one of the reasons it's so high is because of state taxes. The reason the taxes are so high is because, unlike our neighboring states, Connecticut has no highway or bridge tolls of any kind. The entire transportation fund for road and bridges and public transit is generated through the taxes on gasoline. Governor Malloy's budget plan includes another three cent hike in the gas tax starting Jul. 1.

Let's just say it is... hmm. an inauspicious time to raise what are already among the highest gas taxes in the nation.  (Just a few miles into MA gas is 40 cents a gallon cheaper).  And this is not the only tax hike the Malloy budget aims at the working & middle class, as he now plans to tax clothing costing less than $50

Perhaps the most bizarre element of this difficult episode is that Malloy's hand-picked energy czar, former Yale academic Dan Esty, is a vociferous cheerleader for massive tax hikes on energy usage.  

According to Commissioner Esty, we need more pain at the pump.

The best way to drive energy innovation would be an emissions charge of $5 per ton of greenhouse gases beginning in 2012, rising to $100 per ton by 2032. The low initial charge, starting next year, would make the short-term burden on consumers and businesses almost negligible. .....

Our proposal would apply to all greenhouse gas emissions, so that everybody, and every fossil-fuel-dependent form of energy, would be included. Coal-burning power plants would pay based on the emissions measured at their smokestacks. Oil companies would pay for every gallon of gas or oil delivered. Yes, these costs would be passed on to consumers, but this is what motivates changes in behavior and technological investments. (Emphasis added-IM)

You see, unless those benighted consumers in their SUV's and their warm homes get hammered even worse, there will be no positive changes in technology to improve energy efficiency, as per Professor Esty. And of course, notwtihstanding the worst job market since the early 1980's, "instituting a carbon charge would have only a minimal impact on American competitiveness".

Two words. Yeah. Right.

Of course, Dan Esty is part of CT's new "power couple"

---his wife Elizabeth is the new wannabe congressperson from Connecticut 5.  

She seeks to be the new Democrat in the district to replace job hopper Chris Murphy.

Esty's political approach was to run as a centrist soccer mom in a suburban district. Never mentioning her Yale Law degree. Or her prior legal work on a highly controversial assisted suicide case.   The 2008 Obama wave and her warm and fuzzy campaign propelled her to the legislature; once there, she promptly alienated her constituents    by demanding an end to capital punishment even though the most heinous murders in CT history occurred in her own district. 

 She was ousted even after she threw her own Democratic colleagues under the bus

So, if CT voters are eager to keep mass murderers coddled with 3 hots and a cot, and take out home equity loans to buy gasoline, well we can sacrifice even more than what Dan Malloy wants. We can turn the keys in DC over the the power couple of Dan and Elizabeth Esty.  ...  Blecch

Barack and Me? (or why GOP Governors wont sign suicide pacts)

In today's Washington Post prominent economist Robert Samuelson penned this provocative columm

Is organized labor obsolete?

What we are witnessing in Wisconsin and elsewhere is the death knell of Big Labor

The President, of course, sees this differently.  He sees a future for the labor movement essentially maintaining the current status quo on into the 21st century economy.  Notwithstanding the increasing burden of pay, benefits and pensions, and the irrestistible pressure of global competition, we will "win the future" by making large infrastructure investments which will yield a high enough return to pay for our obligations.

Barack Obama, meet Roger Smith.

Smith and Obama seem an odd pair at first. But think this through. Both took over as CEO when their organizations were facing financial duress and existential threats to the enterprise. Both were, however,  "company men" (Is there a "company" more insular than the Chicago Democratic machine?). Both spent prodigious sums on big ticket infrastructure projects.  But neither was willing to do two absolutely essential things: a) restructure the enterprise to be smaller and more responsive and b)  address the long term labor cost obligations of the firm.

 

Smith instituted several initiatives that included forming strategic joint ventures with Japanese and Korean automakers, launching the Saturn division, investing heavily in technological automation and robotics, and attempting to rid the company of its risk-averse bureaucracy. However, Smith's far-reaching goals proved too overambitious and overwhelming to actually be implemented effectively, in the face of the company's resilient corporate culture and bureaucracy. Despite Smith's vision, he was unable to successfully integrate GM's major acquisitions, several of which also failed to tackle the root causes of GM's fundamental problems.

Smith's tenure is commonly viewed as a failure, as GM's share of the US market fell from 46% to 35%, and as it took on considerable debt causing it to lapse close to bankruptcy in the early 1990s. As a result, CNBC has called Smith one of the "Worst American CEOs of All Time"

Smith's efforts were basically an effort to throw cash at GM's problems and hope the sheer weight of remedies would right the ship. But the technology fixes that buying EDS and Hughes were supposed to augur in fizzled. Saturn never achieved self-sufficiency and drained resources from the core brands. And new models arrived late and over budget.

The anti-Smith was Ross Perot, who came from a non-union background in Texas.  Perot was a major GM shareholder after the EDS deal and chafed at the waste and delay that exemplified GM, but was bought out and sent on his way before he could annoy the establishment further and cause the firm to mend its ways.

Perhaps Smith's greatest failure was his unwillingness to address GM's unsustainable labor and retirees costs.  Of course, Robert Stempel and John Smith, Roger Smith's successors, had no stomach for going toe- to toe with UAW. Instead, the same old UAW contracts were signed and the same jobs banks and retirement packages left in place as the firm slowly lost market share (propped up by low financing and fleet sales )

GM was left 15 years later hoping their retirees would expire fast enough to enable it to compete. It lost that race and filed bankruptcy under the auspices of the Obama administration.

Samuelson is right. The public sector is going to go down the same road as unionized manufacturers like GM.  The states are about where GM was in the 1980's---the bump in the road has been hit and the time was come to think long and hard about where to go next. And maintaining a cost structure that accelerates faster than the economy that pays for it is a ticket to doom.

Republican Governors like Scott Walker and Chris Christie aren't going to be playing the Roger Smith game.

They are going to restructure their long term labor and benefit cost structure in a fashion that over the next couple of decades their states can afford.  Remember, both NJ and WI are old industrial states with slow growth.  They need policies that will recharge the private sector, but have to come to grips that even the best-case scenario now won't pay for what prior adminstrations have promised.  

If there is to be pain, better it be dealt with now while the public instrumentalities across the nation are still going concerns, rather than later when actual insolvency turns our state governments into little Irelands and Greece.

The Democratic Governors claim their approach is "more pragmatic"   In the short term it will be more popular to keep labor peace and give bond money away. The GM management would have been excoriated in the short term by Wall Street had they pressed hard enough to cause a strike by the UAW. But in the long run, one or two bad quarters would not have caused the firm to fail.  Kicking the can down the road did.

And even in the not so long run it can look pretty bad.

After all, when GM couldn't sell its cars and was stuck with lots of big plants and high priced employees, what was Roger Smith left to do? Oh, yeah....he shuttered the plants in Flint and laid off the workers.

Will some annoying filmmaker in 2015 or 2018 be chasing President Obama or a Governor like Dan Malloy around asking why the public sector was forced into massive layoffs? Or  is that just not done to Democrats?

    

 

What The Heck Is Going On?

I’m hearing some disturbing things about some of the people who we of the patriot movement were instrumental in getting elected to office. The whole RINO issue chaps the hell out of my hide to start with.

I’m not sure whether it’s because we’re stupid or because we don’t know how to vet our candidates. Or perhaps it’s because these undercover creatures are just so darn good at hiding who they really are that we get hoodwinked every time. I’m not buying any part of that argument.

The RINO (for the uninitiated, RINO stands for Republican in name only) has caused incalculable damage to the country because of their collective perfidy. It would have not been possible for the DeMarxist regime to pass as much of their onerous nation-destroying legislation as they have without the collusion of the so-called moderates.

Some of the names are the same ones we’ve seen time and again… selling out their party and their nation for personal gain. We’re familiar with the machinations of Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. I won’t belabor you with the names of the RINOs out there right now, we’ll be focusing on them in detail as the electoral cycle rolls on.

Chris Christie was elected on a wave of patriot enthusiasm and endorsement. He said and did all the right things to get our support. We sort of expected it from Scott Brown… after all, a conservative Republican from Massachusetts would be a liberal just about anywhere else.

I hope the things I’m hearing about Christie aren’t true… or if they are, I’m glad we found out now. The new Conservative Republican party cannot abide people who consciously erode the principles of conservative governance.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2011

New Jersey's next Senator: Phil Simms

By now, most folks have heard the word that New Jersey's 86 year old Democratic Senator, Frank Lautenberg, has stomach cancer.

His camp insists this cancer is curable. I certainly wish the Senator all the best. Nonetheless, if I were going to AC to wager, my money would be that Senator Lautenberg will physically be unable to complete his term of office which expires in 2014.

The New Jersey Democrats were unable to change the succession law prior to Jon Corzine's involuntary departure from office, which means that the appointment power for any U.S. Senate vacancy rests with Republican Governor Chris Christie until at the earliest, January 2014.

The replacement would face the voters at the next scheduled November election.  So, who should Governor Christie choose?

One school of thought would be to choose someone who's already run statewide and come up short. While conservative champion Bret Schundler fits that bill, it would also put lots of less vocal people like Doug Forrester, Bob Franks, and Dick Zimmer in the mix.  Tom Kean Jr. might be interested, but his service in the legislature would be lost.  Moreover, nominating a former politico to this post might yield someone who's electoral prospects were suboptimal in these "throw the bums" out  era.     

New Jersey is well known for electing a former athlete to the U.S. Senate. But there's an even more popular name out there who could fill a vacant Senate seat.

Phil Simms is an icon to New Jersey residents, having led the Giants to their first Super Bowl title in 1987. This was the first world championship I believe any NJ professional sports team had won.  He's lived in New Jersey continuously since his rookie days with the Giants in the late 1970's. So he's going to have huge name recognition ( which is hard to come by in an expensive decentralized state like NJ) and a lot of residual good will, especially among suburban men over 40.

But even more important is that Simms is one of CBS TV's top sports announcers.  He has the presence and communication skills that are going to separate him from the usual political novice.    

And fear not, Simms's is pretty conservative in his beliefs and portrays a very straight laced image in his broadcasting. He's a classy guy, but a no-nonsense guy.  Someone who I think "fits" the Jersey mindset pretty well.

The Republican party has done  pretty well running quarterbacks for high office  

but Jack never went to Disney World.

You heard it here first. Phil Simms will be the next U.S. Senator from New Jersey. The more I think about it, who else makes anywhere as much sense for this post? 

All Out of Ideas, Democrats Ressurect Their Favorite Villain

Yes we can or yes we will? It is about time Obama stepped out of the hypothetical and into reality. After all, he was elected because he promised a fundamental change in Washington. It is little wonder then that after an underwhelming first year in office, conservatives and liberals alike are wondering when he will finally take ownership of this presidency. If recent news is any indication, Obama may be forced to do so soon, if for no other reason than blaming Bush, rather than coming up with working policies, is falling flat.

The Bush attacks are coming from all over:

  • A campaign advertisement for Jon Corzine closed with “Chris Christie: Bush’s friend. Bush’s policies. Bad for New Jersey.
  • A radio ad from Creigh Deeds in the Virginia gubernatorial race featured dialogue like, “George Bush – what a disaster for our economy,” “What I can’t figure out is why this Bob McDonnell wants to do it just like Bush” and “Creigh Deeds: a little more Mark Warner and a LOT less George Bush”
  • Or the Massachusetts Democratic Party which ran a mailer for the Coakley campaign that said, “What can Brown do to you? He can reward corporations that ship your job overseas just like George W. Bush.”

So what do all of these have in common (beyond a backhanded shout-out to George Bush)? They all lost; with two of the races representing upsets in key Democratic states.

But not all liberal pundits have learned from the mistakes. In his recent article “Democrats Need to Learn the Blame Game” James Carville argues that,

“Democrats would not be playing the blame game with one another for the loss for the healthcare debacle if they had only pointed fingers at those (or in this case, the one) who put Americans (and most of the world) in the predicament we’re in: George W. Bush.”

If this is the best strategy Democrats can come up with to try and regain the momentum they have lost over the past year, consider me ecstatic. After all, as Steve Hidebrand, a top aide on Obama’s presidential campaign told Politico,

“Voters are pretty tired of the blame game. . . What a stupid strategy that was.”

But more importantly, it sends a signal that the Democrats are out of ideas. The public, fearful of a the words “trillion” and “debt” being used so often in the same sentence had long abandoned many of the Democrat’s plans. The stimulus was a waste. The bailouts were a bust. The only arrow left in the Democrat’s quiver was supposed to be the one that would win the war – health care. But with Scott Brown’s upset bid signaling that the public didn’t want the Democratic health care plan, the party has been left searching for answers. Thus far the only thing they have been able to come up with is a freeze on discretionary spending that Obama previously called “a hatchet” when we really need, and “a scalpel.”

With their fragile house of cards, constructed in back room deals and glued together with the mortar of Barack Obama’s personality, now in ruins, Democrats are resurrecting their favorite villain…George Bush. But going negative won’t work. Not for the party whose slogan in 2006 was “A New Direction for America.” And it especially won’t work with the young adults who carried him into office.

Young adults engaged in campaigns and showed up at the polls in record numbers based on the promise of “change.” They wanted change from the passing the buck blame game that had become politics as usual in Washington. A grassroots campaign which mobilized and organized enormous numbers of young adults convinced people that Barack Obama was that change. As Patrick Ruffini explained on the NextRight,

[W]hat happens when the campaign goes away? What happens when the enthusiasm inevitably ebbs and the hard work of governing begins? The immediate benefits of a bottom-up strategy become less clear. You revert to traditional instincts, where powerful obstacles stand in the way of getting things done — even amongst your base, and the wielding of massive political machinery cannot be left to amateurs.

More than simply reverting to top-down governing, it appears that the Democratic leadership has relapsed ever further – to playing the blame game.

As 2008 made clear, we are tired of leaders passing the buck, we want results. It is time for the President to take ownership of the mistakes he has made on the economy, on health care, and on the stimulus. Young adults are smarter than to have their attention diverted from the recent causes of our lack of progress. It’s time to put the Bush-blaming to bed. But do Democrats have any ideas left to take its place?

- Brandon Greife, Political Director, College Republican National Committee (www.crnc.org)

2009 Alt Histories

Now that the dust has settled, I thought it might be useful to look at the off-year election and consider what alternative strategies might have yielded.  One thing I've learned about politics is never to buy determinism; there are always a variety of possible outcomes.

Well, here's a few scenarios:

a) Terry McAulliffe was the Democratic nominee for Virginia Governor

It's what everyone expected. Would he have done better than Deeds; or was his weak primary showing evidence he'd have been roadkill in the general election?

b) Jon Corzine stands down on October 1;  NJ Dems do the "Torricelli switch" to Rep. Frank Pallone or Newark Mayor Cory Booker

In retrospect, my belief that Corzine was burnt toast proved correct. It's hard to fault his campaign for his loss, the voters simply wanted him gone. But what if after using Corzine's cash to bloody up Christie the NJ Dems threw a "relief pitcher" into the race? Different outcome? Or would NJ voters reacted poorly to this strategy being used twice? 

c) Deeds runs as an anti-Obama "New Democrat" ala Mark Warner; focuses on downstate VA

or

d) Deeds runs as a outspoken Obamabot and focuses on NOVA

The consensus is Deeds did neither well and got crushed. Would choosing one or the other have made any difference?

e) No one outside NY State comes to the aid of Doug Hoffman

The Club for Growth, Sarah Palin, Erick Erickson and Glenn Beck are credited or blamed for what happened in NY 23. Given what happened in the local state senate race in 2004, I think the NY Conservative Party was capable under its own power to ensure Scozzafava's defeat? Agree? Disagree?

And what would the national impact of a "quiet" Owens victory have been?

Throw some other possible scenarios out there. Let's reverse engineer these races if we can.

Obama camp: Gives up on VA Gov and NY 23.

At 12:13 pm EDT 10/31/09 , Barack Obama's personal political arm, Organizing for America, sent this e-mail to their list

President Obama needs our help.On Tuesday, voters in New Jersey will go to the polls to elect their next Governor. They'll face a stark choice between Chris Christie -- who will bring failed Bush-era policies back to New Jersey -- and Governor Jon Corzine, who has fought side-by-side with President Obama.Jon Corzine is the only candidate in the race who will be a strong partner for President Obama and work with him to fix our broken health care system and get our economy back on track.So President Obama is counting on us to call Corzine supporters and make sure they show up at the polls Tuesday. In a tight race like this, calling just two or three voters could make the difference -- and our online tool will make calling quick and easy. Get started now:Call Corzine supporters in New Jersey and turn out the vote. 

One can only infer from the omission of any other Democratic candidates that at the last minute the Obama White House has thrown in the towel on VA Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds and NY 23 Democratic candidate Bill Owens, and is doubling down solely on trying to salvage the re-election bid of Jon Corzine, who pulled his own "October surprise" against himself Friday suggesting to the NY Times massive toll hikes on the NJ Turnpike were likely after he gets re-elected.  Which he now denies. Sure. 

We'll see if all of Obama's horses and all of Obama's men can put an incompetent Governor in office again.

   

 

What happened to Chris Christie?

I really hate it when I go out on a limb and the guy whom I'm for saws it off behind me.

I have to admit utter disbelief at the polls showing that Corzine has drawn even with Christie in the NJ governor's race.  Basically, what I suggested would be a futile endeavor may have been accomplished by the relentless Corzine money machine.

But that means that a rather large number( 17% +/-) of NJ voters who already have rejected Corzine will need to decide Christie would be even worse

Sadly, this year's NJ Republican campaign has been run with the sort of panache that makes one wish for a re-run of blandness personified, Doug Forrester.   Christie has allowed this campaign not to be a referendum on the incumbent, but has been on the defensive the whole time.

Now there are some factors that explain this away. To a point. Christie saved his resources and while horrendously outspent in September and early October, is now on TV seriously. Which suggests that maybe he'd have been better to have gone "dark" in the summer instead of "renting" an unsustainable lead in the polls.  He's also dealt with the Chris Daggett problem.  Daggett, a liberal independent, has been the remainderman for voters disheartened by the major candidates, and has hit 20% in some polls.  The GOP having turned fire on Daggett, it's possible his anti-Corzine voters drift back to Christie. And that's the ball game.

So why are we here? And what can we take about this?  Christie got boxed on one big issue and he needn't have discused it. He decided to fix health care.

Oops. So what if it was the "big issue". No one expected the Governor of New Jersey to fix it.

Christie proposed "mandate-free" insurance policies. Note to all you CATO institute folks. It went over like a lead balloon. Note to Republican 2010 candidates. Don't propose this pipe dream unless you have the time, money and desire to defend it.

Corzine made out Christie as an opponent of mammograms. That became the issue. And my review of various poll internals indicate that even though Christie's Hispanic support would usually ensure a GOP win, he's bled off seniors badly (running weaker than Kean, Jr. in the 2006 senate race) and slumped among women.

I'm a suburban mick lawyer, not some Sun-Tzu wannabe. But wise up. When you have these two things in the political environment.

A) One killer issue (In Christie's case, Corzine's fiscal incompetence)

B) Less resources than the other guy

Then ALL you talk about is your ONE ISSUE. Let the press harass you as a single issue candidate. Don;t get into the weeds of policy specifics on stuff that a) isn't a voting issue for your race and b) you don;t have a decisive advantage on.

The other guy will try and get his issues on the table. Ignore them. Do not engage.  Stay on message. Make sure the controversy is on your strongest ground.

If the story line today was "Christie is depicted by the press as a Johnny one-note obsessed with his controversial property tax cut plan", Corzine would still be decisively behind.

I hope NJ gets a better Governor than Corzine, though I 've seen little to suggest Christie is much different than the previous GOP governors Kean sr. and Whitman....who weren't huge reformers. (This is not a national "cause" race like NY 23, my friends)   I hope Republicans around the country learn the importance of message discipline from this episode, however.

Jon Corzine will not be Governor of New Jersey in 2010

Over the last few days I've traded a fair number of e-mails with folks very familiar with New Jersey politics.

The consensus is Jon Corzine will not be living in Drumthwacket in January 

Now I'm not saying that Chris Christie is an absolute lock to win--this is New Jersey after all. But Corzine already has lost and the power structure in the national and state Democratic party is going to have to hold a  "Barry Goldwater" meeting with him in the next few weeks. They will execute the old "Torricelli switch"

The internals of recent New Jersey polls are horrid for Corzine.  His job approval wasn't very high to start with, and now it's down to 33%.  He loses badly on handling the state budget and dealing with corruption. And , oops, looks like the corruption issue got back on the front pages in a big way.

The problem with Corzine is he sold his background as a former honcho of Goldman Sachs as evidence that  a) he would manage state budgets and the economy well and b) he was too rich to be corrupt.  Since neither  problem got resolved on Corzine's watch, all he has left is to try and trash Christie.  But that means that a rather large number( 17% +/-) of NJ voters who already have rejected Corzine will need to decide Christie would be even worse. That's a tall order even with unlimited resources. And now it may be simply impossible in the wake of the corruption dragnet.

Were this just about Corzine, the NJ Democrats might just let the chump lose and figure out how to make Christie a one term wonder.  The problem is that NJ voters think the State legislature is equally incompetent. They are now running at 28% approval. And yep, the Democrats control the legislature. Good for them only one house is up this year, and they hold a 48-32 edge.

But here's where Corzine kills the rest of his party. The Democrats took over the Assembly primarily by flipping seats in South Jersey. And Corzine is well on his way to getting crushed in all the counties south of Trenton; losing the Philly suburbs by 18 points and the shore counties by 35 points.  

A 10 point Corzine loss might look respectable if he can still win huge in Newark and Hudson County, but if he loses most of the state's real estate by high double digits the GOP could flip the four legislative districts they would need to oust the Democrats from Assembly control.

So the rest of the party is gonna want to find someone who gives the party a fighting shot at holding the Governor's office, or at least, giving suburban swing voters a reason to hit the reset buttom before sweeping the Republicans back in downballot. And an alternative is right in the wings, State Senate President and former Acting Governor Richard Codey. While Codey's proposals weren;t always popular, he left office in pretty good stead.

Codey would at the minimum force the Christie camp to relaunch their message as well; and might well serve to reduce turnout of apolitical suburban fiscal conservatives eager to spit in Corzine's eye. 

So, I expert Corzine to start getting veiled messages from his co-partisans in New Jersey that they would prefer an alternative. He may be getting them under the radar already; I suspect the visibility will increase so as to drive the point home. How many times can your allies say "no f**king way" before people stop believing you?

I then expect Corzine to be summoned to DC for a "strategy session" with Rahm Emanuel. The purpose of this meeting will be to determine what prestigious sounding economic post can be presented to Corzine so he can drop out "to serve the nation in this time of economic  crisis".  Maybe make Corzine yet another "czar" of something like Third World debt relief or what not.

The White House will not want to see both Democratic held governorships flip to the Republicans this fall.. They already probably have done all they can in VA to save the seat; but VA's demographics provide little room for error for even the best Democrat. NJ's clearly a better bet to hold; but not with a candidate the voters have no use for. 

Both parties have done this in New Jersey--swapped out an unpopular nominee right before an election. In 2002 the NJ Democrats swapped out sleazemeister Senator Robert Torricelli for the aging but respectable Frank Lautenberg. And the GOP had Acting Governor Don DeFrancesco step down for former Congressman Bob Franks; who still lost his primary to Bret Schundler.

The deadline here is whatever a pliable New Jersey Supreme Court will allow to be; so I suspect one more batch of bad polls will appear before the impetus to execute this reaches a boil.  My guess is this all comes to a head in the first half of September.

The NJ and national GOP needs to start thinking now about how it is going to react to a "Torricelli Switch". Forewarned is forearmed!    

 

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