What do we want from the Buono Campaign?

What do we want from the Buono campaign? That's quite a question. Promoted by Rosi

The invitation by vmars to the Buono campaign has sparked great discussion, including quite a bit of criticism of Buono and her campaign  – perhaps some deserved, perhaps some not.

Reading the discussion leads me to the following questions:

  • What do we want and expect from the Buono campaign? 
  • Are we asking what is reasonable of her campaign? 
  • Are our criticisms fair or are there double standards here?

For example, we know Buono cannot raise money in part because she does not have support of the Democratic machine that we so often criticize, and yet we criticize Buono for not running a campaign that takes the money she cannot get.  

Part of what I like and respect about Buono is her independence.  She is not owned by the 'Democrats' we so often indict here.  She is not scared to step out on her own, sometimes making mistakes and/or standing up for what she believes in even if it is not politicall prudent.  And she is not so arrogant that she cannot readjust and move on when she sees the need.  

I have followed her campaign, watched her work a room and talk with voters, and I believe that she has what it takes.  If we want her to succeed, whatever the doubts and criticisms, let's put our collevtive efforts together to provide some constructive criticisms and some suggestions that would garner support rather than promote the story that this race is already over. 

Comments (13)

  1. 12mileseastofTrenton

    I think she only has a few more days to do so.

    Then she needs to attack Christie nonstop at public events.  The more she attacks, the more free media she gets.  Plus she can get under his notorious thin skin, which could cause him to say something that will backfire.

  2. Erik Preuss

    To do a better job fundraising for starters. You can blame her bad PR on the bosses to an extent, but there is absolutely no reason she shouldn’t be able to raise enough money to qualify for the maximum amount of state matching funds. New Jersey is a blue state with a VERY red governor, yet she can’t find donors.

    Secondly, as 12miles said, she needs to be constantly on attack. I hate to say it, but she needs to be as aggressive and shameless as Christie. That isn’t to say she should lie, but rather point out and scream from the hills that Christie is lying. She needs to show voters that Chris Christie is a trojan horse. He isn’t fixing New Jersey, he’s destroying it for years to come.

    Thirdly, she has to raise her name recognition. I think the time has come for her to stop saving her bullets and start spending money to introduce herself to voters. If she saves all of her money for the last two months, she will be overwhelmed by Christie’s massive fundraising advantage.

    So far she has succeeded in doing none of the aforementioned recommendations; as a result, she has made zero leeway in the polls. If she wants to make this a race she needs to wake New Jersey voters up.  

  3. keepitreal

    It is expected that she will attack Christie on issues like gay marriage, women’s rights etc., , that is not getting her anywhere. She has to take positions on more controversial topics  (like eliminating the Rutgers Board of Trustees), some of which may put her at odds with not only Christie, but some Democratic leaders. That will get her press and support from voters who are looking for someone to lead on these issues. She also needs a dynamic LG, not a safe candidate. If Buono can get her poll numbers to go up, the money will follow.  

  4. Babs NJSD

    Shall I paraphrase JFK?

    Ask what we can do to help… New Jersey … ourselves! We know Christie is going to do what plays in Waterloo Iowa and in South Carolina… Buono is focused on “Jersey First”. … so … instead of complainin’ … let’s DO! It is all about talking it up and getting out the vote!

  5. freshstart

    I agree with the suggestions made so far. But the clock is ticking down.If she can some how get more aggressive people just might start paying attention. People I talk to want a candidate that is willing to take on the Sweeney’s of the world. She can start by doing what Keepitreal suggested by taking a stand against Sweeney on the Rutgers Trustee Board.  

  6. ken bank

    This obsession with Sweeney is really getting ridiculous and does nothing for Buono. Some of you folks really are clueless and out of touch if you think trashing Sweeney is going to help Buono’s poll numbers and fundraising. Buono should go after Sweeney because of the Rutgers Board of Trustees?? That’s an issue?? GMAB! First of all, how many voters even know who Steve Sweeney is? Can anybody aqnswer that? How many voters if you ask them who Steve Sweeney is can even give an answer? And of the voters who know who Sweeney is, how many of them know anything, or give a rats rearend about, the Rutgers Board of Trustees? I’m a Rutgers grad and I don’t even freak’n know Rutgers had a Board of Trustees (I always thought like every other State University they just had a Board of Governors). Grow up People! Buono isn’t going anywhere if she pays any attention to this nonsense!

  7. ken bank

    I’m not privy to whatever campaign strategy and or tactics she may be pursuing, but I do know this. There is no excuse other than ineptitude and incompetence for her lack of fundraising and poor polling. Steve Lonegan raised more money in his primary four years ago, and did so without a single GOP leader or county organization endorsing his campaign. Every GOP machine Boss and every state legislator except Mike Doherty endorsed Christie. When Libertarian Murray Sabrin ran for Governor in 1997 he raised more than enough money by this time to qualify for matching funds. True, Lonegan and Sabrin has access to conservative mailing lists, but Buono also has access to lists. I’m especially puzzled by her failure to raise significant money from the gay community considering the ME issue. Of course, ME is not an important issue for the overwhelming majority of voters, but it should help with fundraising especially since NJ and Virginia are the only states having elections.

    As to polling I don’t see any excuses there either. Buono’s actually been running now for two years, everybody knew she was running, and officially she’s been the undisputed nominee for more than six months. Even if she had no money if she knew how to manipulate free media her poll numbers should be higher than they were six months ago. The political history of New Jersey and other states is full of examples where insurgent politicians with no money and no organizationak support were getting better poll results than Buono.

    What Buono does from now on is up to Buono. It is not up to Stack or Sweeney or Norcross or any other Christiecrats to take responsibility for her campaign. It is Buono’s campaign, and Buono’s responsibility for the consequences of what she does or does not do.


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