Get ready to go Old Testament, Florio tells Dems

DENVER - Addressing the New Jersey delegation this morning, former Gov. Jim Florio told his fellow Democrats that they need to brush up on the harder-edged passages of the Hebrew Scriptures to get toned for what’s coming.

"We can’t afford to have this as a New Testament campaign," Florio told the crowd. "This is not turning the other cheek. This has got to be an Old testament campaign."

The way the Republicans demolished John Kerry four years ago, twisting a war hero, in Florio’s words, into a coward, should provide sufficient preview for GOP campaign tactics. But the Democrats have to huddle up and get ready to fight back with the obvious arguments.

"This president has to slither in and out of a foreign country before anyone knows he’s there, because he’s shredded our relations with the world," Florio said of President George W. Bush. "It’s an embarrassment."

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On morning of big speech, Obama mentor makes his pitch to Jersey

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, right, with Sens. Bob Menendez, Frank Lautenberg and Barack Obama in 2006: Getty Images PhotoSenate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, right, with Sens. Bob Menendez, Frank Lautenberg and Barack Obama in 2006: Getty Images Photo
DENVER - The affable salesman from the Midwest landed on the outskirts of town here with a bright smile and anecdote-laden speaking style that even the most bleary-eyed early morning Democrats responded to through the haze.

If the junior senator from his home state is the glamorous superstar, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) can claim the mantle of progressive, happy warrior work horse, and he kicked off his breakfast address to the New Jersey delegation today by noting how much he liked the deli cuisine that Sen. Bob Menendez (D-Ill.) introduced him to when Menendez hosted Durbin one day in Hoboken.

He would get a standing ovation here, this politician who looks like an actor who would insist on playing Willie Loman as the guy who plays out a happy ending, in what amounted to a nearly perfect set-up when Gov. Jon Corzine prepped the crowd for his onetime Senate colleague.

"If you want to know how we get through healthcare, it’s going to be through the leadership of Dick Durbin," Corzine said of Durbin. "If you want to know how we’re going to change our foreign policy, it’s going to be through the leadership of the majority whip."

Obama calls Durbin his mentor and the older legislator responds publicly in the role of witness to what he sells as American excellence. Tonight he will introduce his friend and the Democrats’ presidential nominee at Invesco Field.

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Andrews to address his future next week

Andrews to address his future next week

DENVER -- United States Rep. Rob Andrews made it to the convention yesterday, and while there are clearly still some frayed relations between himself and members of the party who were loyal to incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg, he said he’s been received warmly.

“It’s really been very positive, very heartwarming, very good,” he said. “I feel very comfortable here.”

This morning he ducked out of the delegation’s breakfast during Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-Illinois) address to pick up his credentials. There he ran into his recent campaign chairman, Michel Murphy.

Andrews has been the topic of much discussion among members of the New Jersey delegation. Despite the report that he’s negotiating for a job at Goldman Sachs, many say he’s still weighing returning to Congress. When asked today why people were still speculating about it, Andrews didn’t issue the blanket denials about returning to his house seat that he’s used since he entered the primary against Lautenberg.

“I’ll have something to say about that next week. This is a week to talk about the convention, not about me.”

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Convention Sketchpad, day three: Saying good-bye to the Clintons

Check back tomorrow morning to view my sketchpad for day three of the Democratic National Convention, and go to my national blog to follow convention coverage by cartoonists from around the country.

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Wrap Up: Wednesday's coverage from Denver and New Jersey

Joe Biden accepts the Democratic nomination for Vice President in Denver on Wednesday: Getty Images PhotoJoe Biden accepts the Democratic nomination for Vice President in Denver on Wednesday: Getty Images Photo

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Today's convention schedule

The fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention will be called to order at 5:00 PM EST on Thursday, with a theme of "Change You Can Believe In."

The final day's events will take place at INVESCO Field at Mile High, where over 70,000 people are expected to attend.

Featured speakers will include Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D), former Vermont Gov. and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean (D), New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), U.S. Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D), former Vice President Al Gore (D) and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D).

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the Democratic presidential nominee, is scheduled to address the convention at 10 p.m. EST.

The full schedule is below.

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In Denver, Rice comes nearly full circle with Obama

West Ward Councilman Ron Rice, Jr. pounds pavement with Obama volunteers.: Politicker file photoWest Ward Councilman Ron Rice, Jr. pounds pavement with Obama volunteers.: Politicker file photo 

DENVER - Months and months ago, when West Ward Newark Councilman Ronald C. Rice used to display his Obama button, friends would laugh.

"No chance," they told Rice, who went on organizing and serving as an Obama surrogate.

Tonight, from his vantage point among the New Jersey delegation, Rice said he felt inspired when he heard Sen. Joseph Biden’s (D-Del.) speech and saw the vice presidential nominee stand on-stage with Obama.

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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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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 >


(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
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This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

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



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