News Roundup & Open Thread for Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013


  • Yes, Lautenberg really said this.


  • Buono for Governor campaign kickoff: Feb. 2 in New Brunswick.
  • Gopal’s gamble: Monmouth Dems chairman boldly backs Buono, while Codey courts campaign cash.
  • Cryan backs Buono at Women’s Political Caucus event.
  • Buono’s gap between ‘nearly quarter-million’ and $214k – messaging problem?
  • Sweeney kicks off small business tour – running for Gov? LG?
  • Christie criticizes Obama speech as ‘my way or the highway’.
  • LD34: Gill struggles on fundraising. Alexander: $75k, Gill: $9k (and change)
  • Palisades Park Dem Chair not ruling out LD37 convention fight.
  • LD39: Jan Bidwell announces she’s running against Cardinale.


  • Chris Christie (?) v. Uncle Joe?

    Q-Poll: Christie, Booker, Lautenberg

  • Booker over Lautenberg by 21 points, Christie at 74% approval (new high), with high approval of Gov going after the same GOP he spent the summer campaigning for on their Sandy-aid foot-dragging.
  • Quinnipiac Poll.


  • Feds get into the NJ sports betting case.
  • Lawrence becomes first in NJ to privatize 911 dispatching.


  • Star-Ledger: Bloody “Gun Appreciation Day” shows value of gun control.
  • Star-Ledger: Feds should admit marijuana is not as dangerous as heroin.


  • According to the Christie administration, making it more difficult for charter teachers to earn tenure gives the schools themselves “more flexibility”.

    Conference Finds NJ Public Radio and TV Faring Well in New York, Philadelphia

  • A year and a half after the state turned over its public radio and TV stations to organizations in New York and Philadelphia, station operators said they have seen New Jersey audience and membership grow to varying degrees..

  • News Roundup & Open Thread for Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013…

    Comment (1)

    1. Bertin Lefkovic

      If Barbara Buono winds up having an uncontested path to the Democratic nomination this year, it will be because she had the guts to announce that she was putting her political career on the line and taking on Christie before Cory Booker announced whether or not he was going to run or not.

      In addition to getting the attention that comes with getting out there first, she immediately changed the calculus for each of the other prospective gubernatorial candidates, especially Dick Codey and Steve Sweeney, who like Buono, had to choose between running for re-election and running for Governor.  In addition to deciding whether or not they wanted to risk their political careers in a tough battle, they also had to consider the possibility that they could lose a primary election against a candidate who had the potential to overcome any organizational disadvantage by hyperperforming with women and progressives.

      Hillary Clinton is going to have a tough decision to make between now and early 2015 when the 2016 primary election season begins.  Joe Biden can make that decision even tougher for her by getting out there first and making it clear to her that if she wants the Democratic nomination, she is going to have to go through him and another long and tough primary election process.  I think that Clinton is much less likely to run if the field is not cleared for her.

      And if President Obama would prefer to be followed by Biden than Clinton, the best and smartest thing that he could do is make her an offer that she cannot refuse, which is to become the Supreme Court nominee when the next vacancy opens up.  Considering her past health issues, I think that it is only a matter of time before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be the next Justice to step down and considering the fact that Ginsburg was appointed by Bill Clinton, replacing her with Hillary would create a nice bit of symmetry.

      Just out of curiosity, is there any law that could prevent President Obama from appointing himself to the Supreme Court in the same way that a Governor might appoint herself or himself to the Senate?  It is not outside the realm of possibility that a future Democratic President could appoint him, but appointing himself would be a way to guarantee his appointment and enable Biden to run for President in 2016 as the incumbent.

      Is there any chance that Clarence Thomas has grown weary of being a laughingstock, who goes years between asking questions and writing opinions, and is ready to retire?  Being able to replace Thomas with Obama is something tantamount to a miracle.  The only other justices whose age might make them consider retirement are Breyer, a Democrat, and Kennedy, a Republican, who has often been a swing vote.  I guess that it is possible that Breyer could retire sometime in the next four years, but I think that it is highly unlikely and Kennedy’s retirement is only slightly more likely than Thomas.

      Ginsburg will probably retire at some point in the next year, so that her replacement can be confirmed by this Senate rather than the next one and Clinton would most likely be confirmed by a near unanimous vote.  A second vacancy, if there is one, would almost certainly come in 2015 or later and something as earth-shattering as a President appointing himself would undoubtedly face a very tough fight.  I am rooting for it as I am tired of no-drama Obama.


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