Obama takes office

Obama takes office
Credit: Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United Statesas on the West Front of the Capitol as his wife Michelle looks on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.

“It was an inspiring and uplifting moment of hope when President Obama took the oath of office, not just for me, but for many millions more across our nation and the world, regardless of political affiliation. The president’s message on the responsibility, duty and legacy we all share as Americans resonates strongly in these challenging times that we face, when we all have to pull together," said U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-Hoboken).  "President Obama has made history by the barriers he has broken, and I believe he will continue to do so by instituting the change he represents for our nation.”

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Obama to take oath at noon

Obama to take oath at noon

Thousands of New Jerseyans are in Washington, D.C. today to watch Barack Obama take the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States at noon today.  Obama becomes the nation's first black president, and the first Democrat to occupy the White House in eight years.

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Levine to formally enter governor's race

Levine to formally enter governor's race
Franklin Twp. Mayor Brian D. Levine (left) poses with Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham)

FRANKLIN TWP. – Good government Mayor Brian D. Levine tonight told PolitickerNJ.com he will formally enter the Republican gubernatorial primary before the end of the month and probably next week. 

Levine’s challenge for the right to face incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine officially makes it a four-man contest among Levine, Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham), former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, and former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.  

“I believe in bottom up rather than top down politics and I will be running my usual grassroots campaign, which is how I have run and won two elections as mayor of Franklin,” said Levine, a certified public accountant and pro-choice fiscal conservative who promises a shoe leather campaign in search of small dollar donations.

Levine’s entrance into the race appears on its face to create a case of two against two.

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Lonegan says he won't use Christie's ties to Bush as a point of attack in GOP primary

Lonegan says he won't use Christie's ties to Bush as a point of attack in GOP primary
Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan

On their way to tomorrow’s inauguration, Democrats are running past the Bush presidency as if it were the forgotten carcass of Commodus at the end of “Gladiator,” but they mean to at least sufficiently resuscitate what they see as the wreckage of the Bush years in order to make it an issue for former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, should he land the GOP nomination for governor. 

In the meantime, don’t expect Bush’s name to come up much in attack dog primary ads.  

“His 21% approval is actually up five points from just before the election, a difference reflected in the fact that half of Republicans (50%) now approve of the president, while about a third disapprove (36%),” said Fairleigh Dickinson University pollster Peter Woolley.  “Before the November election the numbers were reversed: half of Republicans disapproved of Bush and about a third approved (37%)."

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Frank MacCormack, Hudson Republican who challenged Sacco and Elwell, dies at 85

Frank MacCormack, a Hudson County Republican who waged numerous campaigns for public office over the last six decades, passed away on Sunday evening.  He was 85 and suffered a heart attack while having dinner.

MacCormack made three unsuccessful bids for Mayor of Secaucus and lost races for Councilman.  He won election to the Board of Education and served as School Board President in the 1960’s.  He later served as Secaucus Republican Municipal Chairman.

In 2001, at age 78, he became a candidate for State Senator in the Hudson-based District 32, which includes a small part of Bergen County.  Running as a support of then-gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler, MacCormack defeated North Bergen’s John Pluchino in the GOP primary with 73% of the vote.   He lost the general election to incumbent Nicholas Sacco by a wide margin.

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A transition of power

A transition of power
Mayor Cory Booker, center, with Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, left, and jazz pianist Eric Lewis

NEWARK – On the city’s 21st anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, 72 hours before Obama’s presidential inaugural, Newarkers at Grace Episcopal Church rejoiced in a ceremony of blended Obama-MILK symbolism that apparently left no room or reason for last minute retaliatory elbows thrown at the outgoing Bush administration. 

In short, the most joyfully considered and relevant transition of power here was from King to Obama. 

“I’m a child of the 1960s. There are still a few of us around, right, Mildred?” said Gov. Jon Corzine, finding Council President Mildred Crump’s smiling face in the crowd. “King defined our aspirations, and what we could seek to find. When he was killed in Memphis he was talking about a living wage. We have a long way to go, but at this moment, when Barack Obama is sworn in, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream will become a reality. 

“God bless the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the presidency of Barack Obama,” added Corzine, and moments later, Crump cried, “That’s my governor,” as people in the crowd lurched to their feet.

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The Back Room

Christie defends himself in NH

Zapped by the DNC on his way into New Hampshire this afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie defended his economic record while wooing NH voters for the second time in little more than a month, according to the Associated Press.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 31st

  Christie to Newark hecklers: 'I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else' BELMAR - Gov. Chris Christie's got nothing but love for The Brick City, or so he says. In response to a Newark school student here today -- a 17-year-old president of the Newark Student Union...

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Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >

Contributors

(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Go to Mayor [Cory] Booker and ask him if he thinks in the years that he was mayor if I ignored Newark. The fact is I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else." - Gov. Chris Christie

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