The road to the Heldrich Hotel
By Max Pizarro | November 6th, 2012 - 10:11pm
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NEW BRUNSWICK - The road to the Heldrich Hotel led through a brackish, bait and tackle Monmouth County night, heavy on stop signs and short on functioning stop lights.

Hurricane Sandy was here a week ago and it shows.

When people opened their mouths to speak you heard the roar of nearby generators drowning out human speech.

Outside the Holmdel Municipal Building, at Republican Party ground zero, a woman left the storm-consolidated polling place and said she didn’t feel good about Mitt Romney’s chances.

This is Romney country, Holmdel, or so it would appear.

“Did you hear about what they’re doing over there in Philadelphia?” the woman, wide-eyed, asked PolitickerNJ.com.

“What’s going on over there?”

“The Black Panthers, the way they’re intimidating people – you didn’t hear that?”

“I didn’t.”

The grinding sound of the massive generator in front of the building was becoming more pronounced but the woman could be heard to say, “You can’t criticize Obama because it’s interpreted as racism. I don’t have a problem voting for someone who’s black. I’d back Condoleeza Rice for president, and she’s black.”

PolitickerNJ.com kept moving through the darkness, past the darkened hollows of county parks and deadzone gas stations and diners that looked gutted and up to Highway 35, better lit than most places, nosing the old beat up sedan toward New Brunswick.

There was palpable irony in U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) selection of the infamous Heldrich as the champagne slide down for Dems, as it was the back chamber setting where Democrats won control of the Legislature, and then lost the advantage to the GOP during last year’s congressional redistricting.

The troughs of food here reaffirmed the Heldrich as the Democrats’ bunker of celebration.

CNN was on.

The news network just projected victory here in the state for President Barack Obama.

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

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