A day after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s state of the state address on Jan. 8, 2012, the State’s Democratic Party seems to be imploding and lacks leadership and a vision of not only the future but who to nominate to run against the incumbent Governor.
Thus far, the only Candidate to throw her hat in the ring to challenge Christie is State Senator Barbara Buono, who has a handful of endorsements, and approx. $250,000 in her campaign war chest but lacks little support from the “good old boy network” of party leaders. Give Buono some credit; she is the only one thus far to have the courage to take Christie on.
Time is running out on the party and as each day goes by without a clear frontrunner, it’s a day lost to challenge Christie on the issues.
Christie is riding so high in the poll numbers that no one among the party big names wants to lose credibility or face by running against him. Looking at the recent polls numbers conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s (FDU) Public Mind Poll Christies numbers are at a record high:
- 73% of registered voters in the state approve of his job performance.
- 68% rate his performance in the excellent to good category.
- 61% feel the state is headed in the right direction as opposed to 26% who feel the state is on the wrong track.
The democratic party favorite to run against Christie was Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who has already stated he is not interested in the governors chair but instead wants to run for the Congressional Seat held by 88 year old Senator Frank Lautenberg, who was presumed to retire. That also seems to have become an issue since Lautenberg has not made an official announcement that he will indeed retire and may run again and even if he doesn’t run, rumors in the political circles have surfaced that Representative Frank Pallone may also vie for Lautenberg’s seat, so Booker has his own hands full in his political quest.
In a head to head matchup FDU’s poll shows that:
The race resembles more of a Davey vs. Goliath mentality than it does a healthy debate between two political parties that want what’s best for its people but have a different ideology on how to accomplish that task.
No one at the Democratic Party, with the exception of Buono, seems to be taking any type of stance or leadership in coming to an agreement on who is the best candidate to run against Christie. The lack of the rest of the party to rally behind Buono brings into question if the lack of endorsements by the party elite is because she could be the first female Democratic Governor.
The election is 10 months away, the primary is even sooner and although in the world of politics any gaffe or issue can change poll numbers quickly. A prime example of that is Sweeney’s comment on the eve of the Governors address where he shot himself in the foot by saying “we gave the governor a jobs package and he vetoed it. And his job package was a hurricane. I guess he prayed a lot and got lucky a storm came,” Sweeney quickly added “I shouldn’t say that,” he said. “I apologize for saying that.”
You can bet that if Sweeney does run, we will hear that sound bite for the next 10 months until we all have it memorized.
With the exception of Buono, the only one who has shown any courage, the democrats need to get their act together and unify as a party. Everyday that’s goes by without leadership and a sense of direction and purpose undermines public confidence in a battle that they are already way behind in.