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So the news and the papers this morning are full of Christie's name, talking about Cuccinelli and MacAuliffe, talking about diBlasio.  We love winners, even when we hate them.

But I want to write a diary to thank Barbara Buono.  She really stepped up.

There are a million plausible alternate universes where she is waking up this morning as the governor of New Jersey.  Chris Christie's health has always been a question, he could have had to bow out during the race.  We only learned recently about some of the reasons Mitt Romney decided not to pick Christie as a running mate.  There are dark allegations in his past that will need further investigation if Christie decides to go for the presidency in 2016.

But even a year ago, we knew that it was very likely that Buono would not beat Christie.  Yet she got into the race anyhow.  My New Jersey friends tell me she worked incredibly hard in a losing effort.  That's some serious character.

We've got to find people like her for every race.  All those unassailable Republicans in dark red districts... you never know when one of them will crash a plane, or be arrested in an airport bathroom, or say something incredibly stupid on national TV (oh, wait, that's a positive for those people).

If we don't have anyone running in a race like that we cannot take advantage of opportunity.  Barbara Buono stepped into the New Jersey governor's race in case lightning struck.  It didn't strike, she didn't win.  We didn't wake up in that universe where she's governor and Chris Christie is conferring with his lawyers about trial dates. But it could have happened.

Thank you, Barbara Buono.

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