Menendez: 'In terms of style, he has his and I have mine'

Menendez: 'In terms of style, he has his and I have mine'
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) in Paterson this afternoon.

PATERSON – There’s an old boast in Hudson County that if you take a politician out of there and put him anywhere else in the country, he’ll soon be running the place.

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-Hoboken) didn’t gloat today as he faced the cameras and took questions on the day Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) named him to succeed U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).

But the former mayor of Union City was Hudson County-cryptic when asked how his helmsman-ship would differ from that of his predecessor across the river.

“In terms of style, he has his, and I have mine, and that’s it,” Menendez said.

Speaking at a press conference in Paterson City Hall on the issue of federal foreclosure aid with Gov. Jon Corzine, who served in the U.S. Senate as DSCC chairman when President-elect Barack Obama’s came of age as a statewide candidate, Menendez later fielded several questions about his new role.

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Kean: cabinet talk an 'elaborate dance'

Kean: cabinet talk an 'elaborate dance'
Credit: Getty Images Photo
Former Gov. Tom Kean at a GOP rally earlier this year with John McCain and Joe Lieberman

Former Gov. Tom Kean will not comment on whether he’s been asked about or vetted for a cabinet position in the Obama Administration. But don’t read anything into that.

“I don’t comment on those things. I can’t,” said Kean, a Republican whose name surfaced in media reports both as a potential pick for Secretary of Education and for Department of Homeland Security Secretary (which is likely to go to Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano).

Being vetted for a cabinet position is a tricky situation. If the administration has talked to you, you’re not supposed to comment on it, and it’s better to err on the side of caution and not say even if you have not been contacted about it.

“It’s an elaborate dance,” he said.

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Pollster Don Herche dies

Democratic pollster Donald Herche passed away last night.  He was the owner of Public Opinion Research, Inc., a Maryland-based polling company that did work for New Jersey Democratic candidates. 

A graduate of Drew University, Herche started out in New Jersey politics during Helen Meyner's successful campaign for Congress against incumbent Joseph Maraziti in 1974.  Herche later joined Meyner's congressional staff as communications director, and helped run her 1976 re-election campaign against Republican Bill Schluter. 

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Hunterdon County freeholder likely to run for assembly with Lance's help

Hunterdon County freeholder likely to run for assembly with Lance's help
Peterson (left) in 2007, after Lance (right) swore him in as a freeholder

Outgoing state Sen. Leonard Lane (R-Clinton) is not willing to endorse a successor for his seat, but he is helping a candidate for one of the assembly seats that’s going to open up in his legislative district.

Hunterdon County Freeholder Erik Peterson is likely to run for assembly, and Lance, who’s moving up to the House of Representatives next month, is helping him plot his campaign.

“I am very interested, and I am currently working with my political mentor and friend, Leonard Lance, on preparing on making a formal announcement and kicking off my campaign for the seat,” Peterson told today. 

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Lonegan column to go on hiatus during gubernatorial campaign; welcomes Sabrin

Lonegan column to go on hiatus during gubernatorial campaign; welcomes Sabrin
Dr. Murray Sabrin is a new contributor

Steve Lonegan has been an unpaid columnist since March 2007.  As he begins his campaign for the 2009 Republican nomination for Governor, his column will go on hiatus.  We are grateful for his willingness to use as a forum to express his views and for his contribution to the political debate in New Jersey.  We look forward to Mayor Lonegan's return next year, win or lose.

Joining our list of contributors today is Ramapo College Professor Murray Sabrin, a former candidate for Governor and U.S. Senator.  We welcome Dr. Sabrin and look forward to hearing his views.


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Goodwin leaves the door open to another assembly run; Wittman downplays the possibility

Goodwin leaves the door open to another assembly run; Wittman downplays the possibility

Hamilton Councilman Tom Goodwin, having narrowly lost his assembly race last year to Democrat Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton), has not ruled out another run next year.

“I would have to sit down and analyze the situation now and going forward. I haven’t made up my mind yes or no,” said Goodwin. “I have to sit down and think about it. So right now I don’t have any decision.”

District 14, which encompasses the Trenton suburbs and is dominated by the working-class swing town of Hamilton, is one of the few split districts in the state, with Bill Baroni (R-Hamilton) in the state senate and DeAngelo and Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) in the assembly. It is likely to be one of the top Republican targets in next year’s assembly election, although Greenstein, a long-time incumbent, appears a lot less vulnerable than the first-term DeAngelo.

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Menendez officially appointed DSCC chairman

Menendez officially appointed DSCC chairman
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), right, with his predecessor as Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

It’s official.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this morning turned over the reigns of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to New Jersey’s Bob Menendez, the group’s vice-chair (D-Hoboken). 

“Our Caucus will be well-served by Bob Menendez, whose mastery of policy is matched only by his mastery of politics,” said Reid in a statement.

Schumer departs with a successful track record, presiding over the Democrats’ takeover of the Senate in 2006 and further gains this year.  Menendez said he hopes to build on that. 

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 1st

Christie makes his pitch on bail reform TRENTON -In a win-win moment for Gov. Chris Christie as he seeks tough guy points ahead of the 2016 GOP presidential primary, both houses of the legislature packed into the assembly chamber and listened as Christie pleaded for a constitutional amendment on...

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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 >


(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

"Potentially, we can get this done, because it's important. We get it. We understand it. But there are issues. There's the speedy trial component. How are we going to pay for this? How is the risk-assessment piece of it going to be done?" - Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), on bail reform.

- The Asbury Park Press


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