Tuesday, May 31, 2005

NJ GOP - Not A Leader In Sight

I don't typically get into state politics. Of course, being a Democrat in New Jersey, it's a hard topic not to get into. As many of you probably remember, I was fully in support of a Jon Corzine run for Drumthwacket while the tears were still drying in the McGreevey saga.

If anything is going to get me seriously blogging the state governor's race, it's the inanity of the Schundler/Forrester fracas at the Memorial Day parade in Bergenfield. For those of you who haven't heard, the New Jersey GOP's ultralame bench has produced a plethora of increasingly boring gubernatorial candidates, but only two with any serious shot of winning their primary -- 2001 gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler and 2002 Senate candidate Doug Forrester. In both of those races, they lost. That should tell you something right there. In case it doesn't, let me sum it up for you -- these guys are total schmucks. No, really. I mean, if the NJ GOP were to run a serious candidate in the mold of Tom Kean, they might actually get somewhere. But the right wingers in the north of the state have done a pretty effective job of marginalizing the classic Rockefeller Republicans this state used to be known for, leaving... guys like Schundler and Forrester.

If you think I'm being unfair, I present Memorial Day 2005 as evidence.

As bagpipers tuned up and baton twirlers finished their final practice, former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler approached his rival, Mercer County businessman Doug Forrester and confronted him about his property tax plan and a recent series of attack ads targeting Schundler.

"You know Doug, I thought more of you," Schundler said the two men stood in a side street staging area. "I've really lost my respect for you in this campaign."

"What'd we do?" replied Forrester, who had been smiling and shaking hands with parade marchers only moments before.

For the next seven minutes, the two men stood at the center line of Main Street engaged a verbal duel that even the town's mayor was unable to break up.

Forrester repeatedly attempted to reply, only to be cut off by Schundler, who had clearly chosen the moment to go on the offensive.

"Bret, is this a filibuster or are you asking question?" Forrester said at one point.
This was a Memorial Day event. Memorial Day isn't about whining politicians yipping and yapping at each other in the middle of a parade. Memorial Day is about honoring the veterans who've served the United States courageously and honorably. If either Schundler or Forrester knew anything about either courage or honor, they wouldn't be airing their dirty laundry in such an inappropriate forum.

What's worse is that neither candidate would shut up. Even Bergenfield's Republican Mayor tried to break it up, saying "This is for the veterans that died and kept this country free... This is for the veterans, not a debate. We don't want a debate. Do your debate elsewhere, not in Bergenfield." The candidates ignored him and went on bickering.

It's absolutely pathetic to me that this is the best the state GOP can do this year. I can't think of a more fitting display of just how lacking in leadership skills Schundler and Forrester are. Once again, I'm more than happy to reiterate my support for Jon Corzine -- a proven leader and statesman -- for Governor of New Jersey.

posted by Scott | 5/31/2005 | |
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