Republicans sedate on convention eve

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Just days after the Democrats’ celebratory bash in Denver, the New Jersey Republican delegation arrived at their hotel just outside Minneapolis today in a sober mood amid news that Hurricane Gustav was bearing down on the Gulf Coast.

State Sen. Bill Baroni (R-Hamilton), who’s heading up McCain’s New Jersey campaign, emceed the event’s first delegation meeting, a no-frills meeting where he acknowledged that this convention would be different than ones past.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain “made it very explicit to all of us that this convention is about our country, and we’re going to put our country ahead of party,” said Baroni. “I know that sounds strange to say sometimes at a convention, but Sen. McCain today made that very clear, and for the entire length of his career, he’s meant it.”

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Of Heroes, Races and Remembrance

Last year, like many New Jerseyans, I spent Labor Day weekend, with my family at the ever-shrinking shoreline on Long Beach Island. This year, I stayed close to home and ran a 5K race with my other family, my union brothers and sisters from the fire service, police officers and EMS in honor of Jimmy D'heron--a hero, a firefighter, a union member, father, husband and grandfather.

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On the ground in Minneapolis, Thompson defends Bush, takes a shot at Dems

Former state Sen. John Bennett, left, and Assemblyman Sam Thompson (R-Old Bridge).: Politicker photoFormer state Sen. John Bennett, left, and Assemblyman Sam Thompson (R-Old Bridge).: Politicker photo

MINNEAPOLIS - Everything but an afternoon business meeting is off the table at tomorrow's Republican National Convention here, with Hurricane Gustav bearing down on New Orleans south of this Mississippi River town.

Standing in front of the Hilton among the early arrivals for the New Jersey delegation on late Sunday afternoon, and going with the flow at this point, were former state Sen. President John Bennett (R-Monmouth) and Assemblyman Sam Thompson (R-Old Bridge).

Widely lambasted for taking a ho-hum approach to the devastation wrought on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina three years ago, President George W. Bush will not speak at the convention tomorrow night.

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Obama dispatches Dems back to Jersey and weekend of action

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) with mother and daughter constituents visiting Denver: Aisha, left, and Valerie.: Politicker photoU.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) with mother and daughter constituents visiting Denver: Aisha, left, and Valerie.: Politicker photo 

DENVER - The Democratic Party had been splintered all week, and the test of the convention would be whether on the last day Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) resolved the contradictions and moved everyone forward.

The factions were not imagined, or at least one piece of the delegation claiming the loyalties of 18 million voters was hesitant about the presumptive nominee. For New Jerseyans, that faction had particular force. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) had beaten Obama by almost ten points in New Jersey and her fundraisers had hauled in millions form New Jersey supporters.

Some Monday night drama hinged on Michelle Obama’s shot to prove she loves her children and understands the Middle American concept of family.

"I cried until I couldn’t applaud anymore," Newark Councilwoman Mildred Crump said of Obama’s speech.

However, warm and fuzzy testimonials were already starting to rile the Rev. Reginald Jackson of Orange. Yes, he’d been a solid Clinton backer during the primary, "but we need to deal with the Bushes and we’ve got to define McCain."

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Worker bee Corzine unifies delegation - but still has to go back to New Jersey

Gov. Jon Corzine at the convention.: Politicker photoGov. Jon Corzine at the convention.: Politicker photo 

DENVER - The clash of speaking styles could not have been more dramatic.

There was U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson), consigning Karl Rove to the most fiery furnaces of Dante’s Inferno, and putting extra incisors in the teeth of the party attack dog on the tail end of a Thursday breakfast in which half the crowd had appeared asleep before Pascrell arrived and roused them.

Then came Gov. Jon Corzine, and one could almost imagine the house lights again going way down as he began his morning remarks.

On the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech, the governor went to that oratorical touchstone to refer back to something even earlier, which King had also invoked in his 1963 speech: the words "All men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence.

"We now have an opportunity as a nation and as a human race to make that real," Corzine told the crowd. "We will be as hard as Joe Biden’s mother told him to be, but we shouldn’t lose track of the fact that there is a vision for a better world."

It was a quintessential Corzine statement, delivered in the most self-effacing Midwestern tones. Every time he slid a Jersey edge into his rhetoric, as when he roared moments later that Democrats are in the hardest fight of their lives and have one hell of a chance, he still carried the thought to a idealistic conclusion.

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Does the Palin pick neuter Biden?

To view more cartoons by Politicker.com editorial cartoonist Rob Tornoe, click here.

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Cryan: Alaska?

Democratic State Chairman Joe Cryan said that he doesn’t know much about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, but he doubts she’ll be able to draw in New Jersey Hillary Clinton supporters to John McCain’s ticket.

“I don’t know her well enough,” he said. “I haven’t seen much on her background, but it seems as if she’s a fundamentalist that’s out of touch with mainstream America.”

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Wilson: "New Jersey is going to love Sarah Palin"

Wilson: "New Jersey is going to love Sarah Palin"

Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson issued a statement today comparing John McCain’s new running mate to Gov. Jon Corzine.

“New Jersey is going to love Sarah Palin, She is everything that Jon Corzine isn’t. She is a straight talking fiscally conservative reformer who has fought corruption, attacked wasteful government and delivered real results. Like John McCain, she has a record of doing what’s right and working with those from both sides of the isle to deliver change and shake up the status quo,” he said. “When it comes to change the McCain Palin team hasn’t just talked the talk they’ve walked the walk.”

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The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

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Op-Ed

Paterson can flourish with a second chance

By ASLON GOOW, SR. I have spent the past three decades raising a family, building a business, and working to improve our Paterson communities.  I am proud of those accomplishments.  In 2002, I spoke at an expungement... Read More >

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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

- PolitickerNJ.com

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