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Senator Barbara Buono is the only Democrat who has declared her intent to run for Governor of New Jersey this year. Yet, the mainstream media and her own party seem to be looking beyond her candidacy for a more conventional politician to take up the charge.

As I wrote last week, the truth is that Barbara Buono has the best chance of pulling off the political upset of the decade. Thanks to the Democratic leadership, she's a Trenton "outsider" and provides the clearest contrast to the policies of Governor Christie. She brings the women's vote to the table, not because of her gender, but because of her advocacy for issues that are important to women and to the men who are also concerned about these issues. In a state with exactly zero women in our congressional delegation, a woman in Drumthwacket helps alleviate this unevenness in the halls of power.

I met with Senator Buono in Metuchen this morning to discuss the campaign and how she would govern the state if she moves from the Senate wing into the big office.

Cross-posted from

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Comment Preferences

  •  ???? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they want a conventional politician? meaning, what, a male WASP

  •  I wish (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Algernons Labyrinth

    I could agree with your thread title. Being the Democrats sacrificial lamb in 2013 could be a good way to get her name out there for a run in 2017.

  •  Well, it certainly would be an upset. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries

    Maybe the biggest upset ever. So big that I can't even conceive of how this woman is going to do it. How's she going to do it?

    •  Speak the plain truth. Take that away from... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice, Dirtandiron

      Gov Christie.

      Support the Fair Wages Tariff!

      by Jimdotz on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 02:15:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  April, 1991 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Bush 41 is riding high in the polls.  Democratic heavyweights such as Gore, Nunn, Bentsen, etc, look at his 92% approval rating and take a pass.  A nonentity Governor from Arkansas decides to run.  He has little national exposure, except for an awful speech he made to the Democratic convention in 1988.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:53:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a bad choice of analogy. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Bush and christie could not be more different. There is no Ross Perot to split the vote. And bill clinton was one of the top 10 politicians of the 20th century.

        •  There was no "Perot Factor" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bill W, Dirtandiron

          Post-election polls in 1992 asked Perot voters who they would have voted for had Perot not re-entered ther race.  They divided evenly between Bush and Clinton.  Polls taken just before Perot re-entered had Clinton leading Bush anywhere between 5-10 points.  Most of them had Clinton in the mid-50s.  If anything, Perot hurt Clinton (by depriving him of a majority), not Bush!  Also, Clinton's legend as a politician was not apparent in 1991-early 1992.  Indeed, in January, 1995, he looked like a one-term president, having lost both houses of congress (something even Carter didn't do).

          This "Perot factor" bs is the result of lazy minds who don't know their history!

          "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

          by TLS66 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 01:35:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  To many (3+ / 0-)

    NJ voters like Christie, they think he's one of them. And frankly many like the attention the governors gets.

    •  Ok. (4+ / 0-)

      But, what are you suggesting? That no one bother running against him? Christie may be looking good in the nat'l spotlight right now due to his acting more like a Democrat during the Hurricane's aftermath, but he's still a corporatist RepubliCon, beholden to all of the unsavory interests such a label implies.

      I salute Sen. Buono for stepping up.

      •  I salute (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drmah, VClib

        Sen Bueno as well, God knows I want her to win. I simply don't like her chances or anyone for that matter. Puts her on top of my list for 2017.

        •  2017 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          With the seat being open, I doubt the Democratic bosses would allow Buono to be the candidate.  They'll pick someone more likely to do their bidding.  This may be her best chance.

        •  Nobody liked Bill Clinton's chances (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in the spring of '91.  Even if Buono loses, a close race can put her in the catbird seat for 2017.  New, Jersey ... Election Day, 1997 ... Governor Whitman is a national household word, seriously mentioned as a VP candidate in 2000.  Her opponent is a little known state Senator and Woodbridge mayor named James McGreevey, whom she is expected to wipe the floor with.  But ... shock of shocks! McGreevey leads Whitman by a single point throughout the night, and it is only when the final precincts come in that Whitman is able to declare victory by only a single point.  Gone are her national aspirations.  Four years later, McGreevey wins easily over Bret Schundler.

          "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

          by TLS66 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:59:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  and if (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm wrong and this does turn into a race, I don't see anyone (other than Booker) better than Bueno.

        Though that may say something about the bench here in NJ. For a liberal state our bench is pretty terrible.

      •  In hopeless situations such as this, (4+ / 0-)

        the odds get even worse because nobody prominent wants to run. So you get second stringers who are looking for a race to get their name out there for a future run. The goal is to build a network and to perform respectively. Then run again for statewide office for real next time. It's an ancient formula, and has worked for many politicians. And of course there's always the chance that the shoo-in gets embroiled in a scandal, or dies. With Christie's weight combined with his stress level, that's probably a factor in any prospective challenger's mind.

  •  "Empty bluster and tough talk..." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I like her.

    When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 02:33:17 PM PST

  •  Vulnerable politicians are those (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, Gordon20024

    who have sides of them the voters don't know, and they can be successfully attacked by showing voters their hidden, bad side. But NJ voters know all of this guy's sides, they know he is far to the right, and a bully, and loudmouth. They know it all, but polls of NJ voters consistently show that they want to re-elect him. I just don't see how he can be beat.

    •  Surrender early and often! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  On the contrary, risks to incumbent's re-election (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      seemingly can result from temporarily super high poll approvals one year out -- especially when the challenger is a relatively unknown outsider (assuming that the challenger's qualifications and campaigning skills will stand up to eventual scrutiny).

      Some of the following scenarios could easily occur:

      1. Voters are more aware of a super-popular incumbent, and perhaps tend to disproportionately blame that incumbent for any late-maturing disappointments.

      2. Supporters are complacent (and the incumbent's  over-confidence leads to arrogance and carelessness).

      3. Media (and public) get bored and seek a new narrative (and are motivated to impose more humility on the incumbent).

      4. An "underdog" challenger tends to be less cautious, and consequently to appear more genuine.

      5. Any reversion towards more normal and partisan approval percentages tends to create a narrative of shifting momentum.

  •  I Love her! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ffour, wintergreen8694, Dirtandiron

    I have been active in NJ politics. I know she is a long shot but she truly is a progressive, unlike Booker or many of the power player State Democrats.  I plan on being part of a grassroots effort to give her a fighting chance. Honestly, she is truly one of the nicest and most sincere politicians I have ever met. I will never forget back in 2010 when my children's schools were decimated by the Christie cuts, her office was one of the only to return my frantic call. That's right, I was calling from a deeply red district,  a Democrat desperately looking for answers and they returned my call. I pledged that spring I would do anything in my power to unseat this Governor. My first grader went to school that fall with No music teacher, no art teacher, and no gym teacher. I will work my ass off to elect Barbara Buono!!!

    " The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"-Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Lh1695 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:47:01 PM PST

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