Wednesday, February 16, 2005

New Jersey's political machinery

Tom Turcol at the Inquirer talks about the recent party brokering behind the pre-primary annointment of U.S. Sen. Jon S. Corzine as the Democratic nominee for Governor, leap-frogging over the current interim Governor Richard J. Codey despite the latter's high approval ratings and seeming fitness to continue in the post he took over from McGreevey.
Most party officials and activists wanted to endorse Corzine from the start, viewing Codey as a caretaker who was serving the remaining 14 months of Jim McGreevey's term. But reluctant to publicly oppose an incumbent, they held back, which gave Codey time to build support.

Once it appeared that Codey was about to run, Corzine and his key allies swung into action, warning party officials to announce their support or get left behind.
I have to say that a lot of the outlines here sound quite familiar, not to mention the following complaint:
"Before the primary, there's a primary of the insiders - and that's the one that counts," said Jennifer Duffy, a political analyst at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report in Washington. "There are political machines in other states, but that doesn't mean the bosses can just sit in a room and avoid a primary like they do in New Jersey."
The article has a good Who's Who of big dogs from the other side of the Delaware for those who want to keep score...


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