Saturday, July 23, 2005

Forrester Forced to Do Something He Probably Didn't Want to Do

Last night's Forrester for Governor event in Plainsboro, featuring Vice President Dick Cheney, was the culmination of a week-long frenzy in the Garden State, with Corzine surrogates launching daily assaults on Forrester, calling him "too extreme" for New Jersey voters. The truth is that Forrester himself isn't necessarily too extreme. He's the moderate Republican candidate whom voters preferred over the true hard-line extremists like Bret Schundler and Steve Lonegan in the June primary.

Dick Cheney and George Bush, however, are too far out of the mainstream for the state of New Jersey. Enlighten-NJ uses the Presidential election results from last November to counter this reality, arguing that because Bush received 46% of the vote in New Jersey, he is not viewed as an extremist here. But taking this state's political temperature last November, when a weak Democratic candidate escaped rather narrowly with New Jersey's electoral votes, would be faulty. Newsday reported this week on a statewide poll that shows President Bush's approval rating in New Jersey at 38%. Just 33% of New Jerseyans stand behind his economic policies. Says Newsday, "Fifty-four percent said the U.S. military effort in Iraq was not doing well, and 56 percent said going to war in Iraq was a mistake." New Jersey was the second state nationwide to legalize stem cell research and Quinnipiac polls show that over 80% of residents support abortion rights in some form.

But don't expect Corzine's attacks of "guilt by association" to hurt Forrester. In reality, why should they? Corzine himself campaigned for and was a supporter of former Governor Jim McGreevey, a politician whom more New Jerseyans likely resent. If the candidates are going to judge each other by who they've shaken hands with in the past, they're both likely to lose. Also, as out of touch as Cheney-Rove-Mehlman may be here, Forrester was essentially forced into bringing in the line of national Republicans for financial reasons. With the campaign already in full swing and the election more than three months away, deep pockets will be a must for both candidates. This means that if Dick Cheney will bring in $300,000 as he did last night, Doug Forrester, the less rich of two multi-millionaires, has to bring him here, whether he really, truly wants to or not.


At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone is guilty be association, it's Corzine. He supported Sharpe James, the corrupt mayor of Newark, as well as McGreevey. If anyone can clean up that wretched state of yours, it's Forrester.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Mr. Snitch said...

Your point of 'taking the temnperature' of the voting public on a regular basis is sound. Politicians should steer a steady course, and not jump to the tune of the day's events. But adjustments should be made, perspective taken. It's true that Bush had a lot of support in Jersey last election, all things considered. But rubbing a Republican administration in voters' faces around here is only going to serve to galvanize and antagonize Democrats. Sure, you can do it, but it's not a good move.

At 11:50 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

Anyone who believes a visit by the Vice President of the United is "rubbing a Republican administration in voters'faces" will not consider voting for anyone except Corzine. The absurdity of Lautenberg calling for Cheney, etc. to be barred from New Jersey may galvanize the ultra left wing, but will only serve to turn off the vast majority of voters. Talk about extreme – how much further out there can Corzine and his campaign chairman, Lautenberg get.


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