February 3, 2014 |
TRENTON - Campaign contributions and endorsements came flowing in from top New Jersey Democrats: Senate President Stephen Sweeney in the south and powerful Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo and rising star Cory Booker in the north. It was fall 2012, and most of the Democratic political apparatus - including the Assembly speaker and a former governor - was throwing its weight behind the mayor of Perth Amboy, a Middlesex County town of 50,000 with a nominally nonpartisan council.
January 21, 2014
AS A resident of the city where Walt Whitman lived his senior years, it appeared as though Chris Christie's State of the State address gave the middle finger to my hometown. Most of the historic literature says that Camden is an undesirable town, dating all the way back to the days of Whitman. But I beg to differ that last school year only three students of the Camden City Public Schools were prepared for college. What college was he referring to: Cambridge or Oxford? Wayne E. Williams Camden Take this simple test: Describe the alleged corruption by the Christie administration without using the words Benghazi, birth certificate, "fast and furious" or Monica Lewinsky.
January 19, 2014
Eliot Ness revisited Thank goodness for the Pennsylvania liquor Gestapo, which bravely arrested a Malvern lawyer for selling high-end wines ("Malvern lawyer charged with illegal wine sales," Monday). Another alleged hardened, dangerous criminal is taken off of the streets. Think of the havoc he could have wreaked on the poor, innocent citizens of our fair state. Oh, the humanity! Richard Holstein, West Chester Niagara on the Delaware Reading about the lawyer charged with illegal wine sales, I was struck by the fact that most of the wines being sold were otherwise unavailable in Pennsylvania ("Malvern lawyer charged with illegal wine sales," Monday)
January 16, 2014 |
It's a battle between conventional politics and contemporary media. That's the reality that faces Gov. Christie, who is trying to gain control of a story - the George Washington Bridge traffic-jam jam - that's in no one's control. On cable news, social media, and in the blogosphere, too, many other tellers are telling the tale. Christopher Harper, who teaches communications law at Temple University, says that despite exemplary performances at a news conference on Thursday and at Tuesday's State of the State address, Christie "has no control over the narrative at all. " A document-nova exploded last Wednesday at the Bergen Record, blog site Talking Points Memo, and the New York Times.
January 13, 2014 |
Time for some political problems for Chris Christie. The governor apologized Thursday until he was red in the face. Instead of Mr. Tough Guy, he was Mr. Sad Guy. He was embarrassed and humiliated and heartbroken, which is so not New Jersey. And so not Christie. His epic news conference ran almost two hours - possibly, as one wag noted, in solidarity with motorists trapped in September's gerrymandered traffic quagmire. Christie likes to appear as though he's stronger than the storm.
January 11, 2014 |
Gov. Christie needed to reassure those who find themselves wondering if the man they thought they knew is for real, or really too much. "I am sorry," he told a skeptical press corps (and, polls suggest, a doubtful public) at a packed Statehouse question-and-answer session Thursday. He said he was sorry not once, or in one form, but several ways, repeatedly. And then, once more, with feeling: "The person that needs to apologize is me. " Held just 24 hours after a scandal eruption far too hot for a single performance to extinguish, the Republican governor's marathon news conference nevertheless effectively delivered his message: I'm the same Chris Christie I've always been - the Jersey guy you know and love, or love to hate.
January 10, 2014 |
CLOUT HAS LONG admired Quinnipiac University Polling Institute's spot-on tracking of national and state political trends. Now we admire their timing. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie , in a marathon news conference yesterday about his staff's "embarrassing" abuse of power in the growing George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal, waved off a question about the potential impact it could have if he runs for president in 2016. Christie also shrugged off "meaningless" early presidential polls by universities Minutes later, Quinnipiac University emailed reporters the results of a "national thermometer" poll conducted from Saturday to Tuesday.
January 8, 2014 |
TRENTON Gov. Christie on Monday endorsed U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo for reelection, saying he would use his political muscle and fund-raising prowess to help keep the longtime congressman in Washington. "I'm all in on this one, people," Christie said at a Statehouse news conference alongside LoBiondo, a Republican like the governor. "I am going to be working politically. . . . My organization is going to be engaged in helping to raise money and keep together the great coalition that we had together in South Jersey.
January 3, 2014 |
I can see the future. But I will never use my powers for evil. Let other columnists recklessly ruminate about what might happen during the next 12 months; my observations benefit from 20/20 hindsight. So I can confidently predict that the biggest New Jersey story in 2014 will be . . . Chris Christie. Not simply for being his ever-semi-lovable self, but for single-handedly saving the "NY/NJ" Super Bowl. On Feb. 2, as the "Superblizzard of the Century" bears down on MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ/NY, President Obama offers the governor a chance to join him for an emergency photo op aboard Marine One. Christie blows off the president and, having thus genuflected to his party's fright wing, decrees that the bowl game be moved to the nearby Meadowlands mega-mall formerly known as Xanadu.