Al Gore. (Rally, Ocean Twp)
Hillary Clinton. (Sunday, Harrison, high dollar, closed to press)
Bill Clinton. (Rally, Paramus, 5pm)
Barack Obama. (Rally, Newark, telling Jersey it’s important)
Joe Biden. (Rally, Edison, slamming Guadagno’s racist ad)
Khizr Khan. (Coming Thursday, Princeton, just announced)
This list tells me a few things.
- If Phil Murphy doesn’t win after this line-up, he needs to re-evaluate his life.
- South Jersey, you’re getting dissed. Ocean Township’s the farthest the star power goes?
- Barbara Buono didn’t get anything like this buildup. She got ignored by the Democratic Governors Association, undermined by the powers in her own party, and got zero zero love from (then) POTUS Obama, who in 2013 was still trying to cozy up to a then-bigshot Gov. Chris Christie. This party needs work.
Khizr Khan is coming on Thursday to Princeton. The timing is exquisite. When he spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philly last July, it was one of the few semi-unifying experiences of that whole contentious week. You listen to Gold Star fathers; you know what’s missing in their family portraits. And Khan – wife Ghazala by his side – made you feel it, and then pledged his support to Hillary Clinton (who, uh, voted for that clusterfuck war). Khan, the Muslim father of Army Captain Humayun Khan, killed in Iraq, has already spoken out against Trump’s thoughtless and disrespectful remarks to Myeshia Johnson, widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, KIA in Niger. Khan can also speak to Trump’s hate-mongering policies towards Muslims, and immigrants generally,and his reckless demeanor (Khan is quite dignified). It will be interesting to see if the national stuff, and rallying people against Trump (because how hard is that – in Princeton?) is enough, given this is a state election. Or whether attendees even make that distinction.
The danger in Murphy’s wrapping up the Democratic nomination more than a year before the general election, by the insider route, may be that you have a harder time getting voters invested when it counts. Jay Lassiter has a point; he’s not the only one who snoozed through the gubernatorial debates; most of New Jersey did, too. The good news, I suppose, is that Guadagno’s campaign is so moribund he’ll win despite how funky state Democratic politics are. If you go to Khan’s meet-and-greet, I’d be interested in your impressions.