Monday, October 7, 2013

Chris and Steve's Excellent Campaigns

Let's just make this clear from the outset: Steve Lonegan is not going to defeat Cory Booker in the New Jersey Senate election next week. Yes, I know that only having a 13 point lead puts Booker in the endangered category, and his wealthy, powerful allies are worried about hum not winning by 20 points, but they need to get real.

He's winning and he will win, but in the meantime he's not running a stellar campaign and there's something about Steve Lonegan that makes you want to watch him for a while. Like a really bad car accident or a singer who's so off key you smile while listening to them or someone who reminds you of a character out of 1984. After a time, though, you realize that he wants to be taken seriously and that's when you disengage. That will happen next week.

Lonegan probably isn't saying it now, but he's got to be unhappy with Chris Christie's choice to schedule this election separately from the gubernatorial election in November. Christie's original argument was that having the Senate election on the same date would pull in more Democrats, who would support Booker, to also vote for Barbara Buono. The real loser, though, will be Lonegan, who would otherwise gain some supporters who are showing up to vote for the governor. Or maybe Christie really doesn't like Lonegan and cares not whether he wins. In any case, this openly helps Christie, who has made a Trenton career by making sure that his needs are taken care of.

This will be the last election that Christie will win, so in the end, he and Lonegan will end their elective political careers the same way. Meanwhile, Cory Booker will have six years to sharpen his running skills before he too considers a national campaign.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives and on Twitter @rigrundfest

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