So, this is interesting. Looks like it’s not just Chris Christie ducking past hard questions, but some of his nearest and dearest hunkering down out of the light.
The Rebovich Institute of NJ Politics at Rider University has canceled their 6th Annual Campaign Managers Conference, which was to be a post-mortem on the Christie-Buono race, open to the public. Would have been damn interesting, too. Among the players expected: Mike DuHaime and Bill Palatucci.
DuHaime, Gov. Christie’s idea man, made news a few days ago when his firm, Mercury Public Affairs, hired a lawyer as inquiries into the bridge scandal shift now to Christie’s political operation. Mercury hired Rudy Guiliani’s law firm. DuHaime ran Guiliani’s 2008 White House campaign.
Palatucci – You don’t get closer to Christie than Palatucci. Former partner in law firm and lobbying. The guy who bragged he was so close to GW Bush that he could select NJ’s U.S. Attorney – Christie, who had zero relevant law experience – simply by forwarding his résumé to Karl Rove. Christie’s right-hand man and re-election chair. Went along for Christie’s installation as RGA chair. Former honcho in the poorly-run privatized halfway house system also which is also tied to Christie.
More, plus Ben Dworkin’s event cancellation announcement, below the fold.
Christie’s had an easy ride the last 3 years; success branding himself the swaggering Jersey everyman, whose insults to those daring to disagree with him were excused as the price of admission for his entertaining persona. He’s a skilled communicator who persuaded the public he was the take-charge guy doing the right thing for them, even when he wasn’t. And got away with it, until he didn’t. We’re not even close to the end of what looks like a potentially historical political unraveling. And we don’t know where we’ll end up. But it’s interesting to see who might find it inconvenient to have to deal with questions from info-hungry students, and the press.
Buono campaign chair Bonnie Watson Coleman and her communications director David Turner were also on the program. Watson Coleman is a possible NJ12 congressional candidate in the wake of Rush Holt’s retirement announcement yesterday. I reached out to Dworkin for more info on the cancellation, and he said” We’re not saying anything more than what was in the statement at this point,” adding that may change in the future.
Rebovich Institute for NJ Politics Statement on the Cancellation of Campaign Managers Conference
The 2013 gubernatorial campaign in New Jersey was a fascinating race, and we had eagerly looked forward to focusing on this particular race during the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics’ Campaign Managers Conference – our annual look at how modern campaigns are run.
Unfortunately, due to recent controversies and ongoing investigations, it has become clear that a full discussion of the campaign is not possible at this time. Therefore, the Rebovich Institute has chosen to cancel the conference.
We want to thank all of our panelists, including Hon. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Hon. Bill Palatucci, Adam Geller, David Turner and Michael DuHaime for their willingness to participate. We look forward to a meaningful discussion of this campaign at some point in the future.
We apologize for any inconvenience to our panelists, supporters, and for all others planning to attend this event.