Saturday, March 15, 2008

Jersey Joe is one of us

All last year, Jersey Repugs cackled over Sen. Frank Lautenberg's vulnerability. He was old, he was out-of-touch, he was unpopular, he was too liberal. With Rudy Giuliani topping the national ticket, they were gonna sweep to victory in a statewide race for the first time since Gov. Christine "It's my party" Whitman squeaked by Jim McGreevey for reelection.

There sure were lots of what-ifs & holes in that grand scenario. Like, a candidate.

Can't use the geezer strategy with McCain on the ballot.

If Lautenberg had decided to retire, there were two or three popular congressmen in the wings, & if they didn't run there were four or five Trenton legislators who wouldve been swell. The Democratic bench is deep. Lautenberg didn't retire.

The Repugs have Murray Sabrin & "Jersey Joe" Pennacchio.

Sabrin is a slick, wonky libertarian oozing Third Party candidate. He's not an insider with the Repug organization. Ron Paul endorsed him.

Oh, Jersey Joe. He's one of us! proclaims his cheesy website. Mull that slogan over for awhile. I guess he's a more conventional conservative Repug, be darned if I can tell from the "issues" section at jerseyjoe08. Joe's what used to be a regular guy in Jersey Democratic politics, the working class childhood, going to college, learning a profession rather than a trade. Now that "one of us" means the angry white males who call right wing radio shows & complain that Democrats are conspiring against their constitutional duty to drive gas guzzling pickup trucks as family cars by jacking pump prices to $4 a gallon & using half of that amount to fill potholes on dead end streets in Camden. It's a tax & spend racket I tell ya.

Come a long way from enlightened patricians like Tom Kean, Sr. eh? Repugs shoulda seen this day coming when they stupidly took down Clifford Case 30 years ago & gave a safe Senate seat to "Dollar Bill" Bradley, who passed it to Bob "The Torch" Torricelli, who tripped up & handed it off to former senator Frank Lautenberg, who wasn't happy in retirement. They're almost all gone now, the Repugs who didn't feel the flop sweat before speaking at labor union conventions in Atlantic City, who could campaign anywhere in Newark & find friendly handshakes if not many votes. And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day.


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