Tag Archive: President

Quote of the Day: The biggest jeopardy to Chris Christie’s national prospects

Michael Symons has a piece on the Asbury Park Press looking at the tight rope that Christie is trying to walk as he seeks re-election. But for all the talk of Christie trying to appeal to Independents and Democrats, it was this line that really summed up what the race is all about for Christie:

“The biggest jeopardy to Chris Christie’s national political prospects would be losing a re-election campaign for governor of New Jersey.

You see, the only way Christie Christie can continue to use New Jersey to boost his own personal career is if New Jersey voters give him the chance to continue it.  If you don’t want to give Christie the chance to continue to make a name for himself at your expense and on your dime, you can learn more about his Democratic opponent at www.buonoforgovernor.com.

Did Christie aides try to pass off power over pensions and bonds?

Anonymous sources in the NY Post continue to try to put the fact that Christie isn’t on the Republican ticket as VP into a positive light.  Yesterday’s story first tries to say it was Christie’s call because he thought Romney was a losing campaign, but then they say that Christie didn’t like the demands the Romney campaign was putting on him in order to get a seat on the bus:

Gov. Chris Christie wasn’t willing to give up the New Jersey statehouse to be Mitt Romney’s running mate because he doubted they’d win, The Post has learned.

Romney’s top aides had demanded Christie step down as the state’s chief executive because if he didn’t, strict pay-to-play laws would have restricted the nation’s largest banks from donating to the campaign – since those banks do business with New Jersey.

But Christie adamantly refused to sacrifice his post, believing that being Romney’s running mate wasn’t worth the gamble.

Ok, so the post gives us a few things to look at and we’ll do that if you follow below the fold.

Christie’s Summer of Self-Promotion

I probably couldn’t have said it better than the title of the piece by Josh Zeitz at the Atlantic which I used as the title of this diary. Zeitz started by describing the Christie narrative:

The Jersey Comeback story goes something like this: Having inherited a state on the brink of bankruptcy, Christie cut state spending; held the line on taxes; fixed the state’s unfunded pension liability; and took on the vested interests that have so long made Trenton a den of dysfunction. In short, tough-guy Christie took a bat to the bad guys and saved hard-working taxpayers from economic ruin.

Christie tells this story not only at his taxpayer funded rallies he calls town hall meetings, but also at stops around the country building his own profile under the guise of helping other Republicans. Zeitz continued:

It’s a great story, made more powerful by an unpopular foil (Jon Corzine) and a deferential national press corps. It also happens to be completely untrue. Christie certainly brings an unusual disposition to the governor’s office. But in every other way, he has proven just as unwilling (or unable) as his predecessors to confront the structural barriers to meaningful reform. And that is the real tragedy of his governorship.

Follow me below the fold as Zeitz dispels many of the myths of the Christie show by injecting some facts into the discussion.

The struggle continues

To all those warriors of democracy, to all those crusaders of hope, to all those who got into the arena, to all those who struggled and strived and fought and bled for their candidate. To all those who made our party stronger today, thank you.

But no matter the outcomes. No matter which candidate triumphs and which candidate falls, we must not forget. We must not forget that while our differences tonight may seem irreparable, we have much more in common than we do apart.

The struggle to save the middle class, to rebuild America, to construct from the wreckage of the Bush years a stronger nation continues. We must unite in this effort.

We must remember, we are Democrats.  

We cannot afford to lose

I am so very happy that the President finally announced his support for marriage equality today. It was a welcome evolution, even if it is long overdue. As we all know, change comes one door, one day, one election at a time. While it may be too early to focus on the politics of this historic milestone, we must be aware that the stakes of this election have just been raised.

The right-wing pundits are hoping that the President’s support for marriage equality and Mitt Romney’s fierce opposition to gay rights will help them in key swing states: North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado etc. In fact, the reason many people felt the President held off “evolving” is due to political calculus.

We know from experience that these fears are not only overblown, but  false; the public trend over the past couple years has moved firmly in the direction of marriage equality. However, we also know that if the President loses the election (especially if it is close), some people will inevitably argue it was due in part to his support for marriage equality.

We cannot let this happen.

For the first time in the history of the gay-rights movement, there is a chance to elect a President who fully supports marriage equality. We have to work hard to reelect President Obama in order to send a resounding message to those remaining voices of dissent: America is a country that embraces all of her children, regardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation.

NJ Politicians React to President Obama’s Endorsement of Marriage Equality

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg

Congratulations, Mr. President. I, like many Americans, am proud of your decision to put aside election-year political calculations and to make clear your own personal beliefs.

Like many of my colleagues in New Jersey and millions of Americans, the President’s ‘evolution’ on marriage equality has ended in the same place and with the same conclusion: Recognizing the rights of all couples to live and love as they wish is simply the right thing.

I wish the President’s announcement today could magically end the debate, but it will not. Those of us who support marriage equality must continue to press on and to help others complete their own evolutionary journeys on this issue. Thankfully, though, we now have one less hurdle to overcome.

Senator Frank Lautenberg, a co-sponsor of legislation to repeal DOMA:

President Obama’s support for marriage equality marks an important moment for civil rights in America.  We simply can not treat same sex couples as second-class citizens in our country.  Marriage equality is one of the most significant civil rights battles of our time and is critical to guaranteeing the equal protection under the law promised to every American in the Constitution.   The President’s support for marriage equality should inspire Congress, Governors and state legislatures to advance civil rights for all Americans.

Senator Bob Menendez (via Facebook):

I applaud President Obama for joining all of us who support marriage equality.

(and then a few hours later, this):

Energy and persistence conquer all things.” -Benjamin Franklin

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald:

I applaud President Obama for announcing he supports marriage equality for same-sex couples. As I said during debate the floor of our historic Assembly vote approving marriage equality, our Constitution means every single one of our citizens has the fundamental right and expectation to be treated equally under the law. That is why I strongly support marriage equality, and that is why I am proud of President Obama’s announcement today. In past statements opposing marriage equality, Governor Christie has noted his feet were ‘firmly planted right next to President Obama’ on this issue. Today, that is no longer true. The reality is, there is only one person standing in the way of full marriage equality in New Jersey–Governor Christie. It’s time for the Governor to stop punting this issue to a referendum and do what’s right. It’s time for the Governor to stop obstructing equality and support full equality under the law for all New Jersey families.

Senate President Steve Sweeney:

I haven’t seen a fresh quote come in. Meanwhile, this is what he said a few months ago. Still relevant; it was a turning point:

Seventeen months ago, I stood up here and made the biggest mistake of my legislative career. I made a decision based purely on political calculations not to vote in support of marriage equality. I failed in my responsibility as majority leader of this house of government to actually lead. I was wrong…

Assemblyman John McKeon:

President Obama’s declaration of support for same-sex marriage is a profile in courage and marks a historic breakthrough in our evolution as a nation; We believe that his decision will help end the inequality, and move us closer to granting equal civil rights to countless American families; We commend the moral courage and extraordinary leadership demonstrated by President Obama in his decision to do the right thing; We hope it is his destiny to be the first U.S. president to sign a law granting marriage equality to same-sex couples and that his decision will inspire Gov. Christie to sign S-1\ A-1, the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act, of which I am a proud sponsor.

Congratulations, Jackie Cornell-Bechelli, NJ State Director for Obama’s Re-Election Campaign

With Gov. Chris Christie emerging as Mitt Romney’s most effective surrogate and potentially a consideration for running mate should he get the GOP nomination, it matters more and more who runs President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in New Jersey. And how it’s run.

Today, we learn that Jackie Cornell-Bechelli has been named the President’s State Director for NJ. Jackie put time into Organizing for America (OFA) as NJ State Director after Obama’s campaign morphed into the OFA structure. I’m not a fan of OFA, which always struck me as trying hard to look like a bottom-up organizing effort when it was actually quite the opposite. And not a fan of curtailing DNC’s wildly-successful 50-State Strategy (under which we took the White House, and both Houses of Congress, and many state & local offices) in favor of OFA’s expensive concentration on the fortunes of just one candidate, the President. That said, it makes sense that Obama’s re-election campaign rely on somebody already “in the family” who is both known and appreciated by the Obama campaign structure.

Plus, Jackie Cornell-Bechelli also spent a year as New Jersey Citizen Action’s Political Director, a well-staffed citizen watchdog organization I admire. She leaves that job for the Obama position. For 7 years, she also worked for Planned Parenthood, for which organization every woman I know is grateful.

It’s a struggle to suppress my dissatisfaction with the President’s first term. Well, until I look at the GOP alternatives, particularly the clown car passenger who nearly won the Iowa caucuses last night. And Romney hisself, who has yet to rise above platitude and the reciting of patriotic song lyrics (as one @BlueJersey Twitter follower pointed out, bet we won’t hear ‘ole Mittens recite Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land on the stump).

Congratulations to Jackie Cornell-Bechelli. We’ll be interested to see how she intends to wean New Jersey away from Chris Christie’s idea of the best direction.  

New Jersey, the Iraq War, What We’ve Lost & the President’s Speech Ending it All

President Obama’s remarks today announcing a drawdown – to zero – of American troop presence in Iraq is not directly New Jersey news.

But more than 100 people with ties to New Jersey have died in the allied wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And at least 539 New Jerseyans died at the World Trade Center attack tied to both wars. For them, for NJ soldiers deployed in Iraq and veterans of 2 wars there, and for the $40 billion spent by NJ on the Iraq War, here is the speech ostensibly ending it, from the President:

From the White House:



James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

12:49 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  As a candidate for President, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end — for the sake of our national security and to strengthen American leadership around the world.  After taking office, I announced a new strategy that would end our combat mission in Iraq and remove all of our troops by the end of 2011.

Speech concludes after the jump.

All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

Sarah PalinSarah Palin is out. The White House will just have to do without her for 2012.

Now, Palin’s an attention-hog. But I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that her announcement took up less oxygen, and less time than Gov. Chris Christie’s announcement yesterday – which clocked in at an astonishing 54 minutes.

Political operative Joshua Henne, who speaks for One New Jersey, the advocacy organization whose non-disclosure (similar in structure to non-disclosure groups serving Christie) I’ve expressed issue with as has Sen. Loretta Weinberg here, drew up a comparison between the Christie marathon and some other critical events in world history:

Shorter Than Christie’s 54-Minute Vanity Press Conference

1.  17 minutes: Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address

2.  44 minutes: Ronald Reagan’s final State of the Union

3.  5 minutes, 16 sec: Lyndon Johnson tells America he won’t seeking re-election

4.  2 minutes: Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

5.  10 seconds: Time it took Christie to veto millionaire’s tax

6.  22 minutes: Time it takes to steam 5 lb. lobster (which multi-millionaires will be able to eat a lot more of since Christie vetoed the millionaire’s tax)