Report: Springsteen and Bon Jovi to perform at Obama speech

DENVER -- As of right now there are no speakers from New Jersey slated for the Democratic National Convention. But two of the most famous musicians to ever come out of the state are scheduled to perform not just at the convention, but at Barack Obama’s big night. 

The Rocky Mountain News reports that Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi will bracket Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Thursday night.

Governor Corzine, who's said to have invited the two to perform at the convention, couldn't confirm the report.

"I don't know that they're coming," he said while walking out of the Inverness Hotel. 

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Gusciora: 2004 couldn't have been this good

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton): Politicker photoAssemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton): Politicker photo

DENVER - The deep freeze feelings Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) fiercest supporters have reserved for the Obama-Biden ticket simply contributes to the convention’s drama, acknowledged Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton), a member of the New Jersey delegation.

People have deep-seated feelings this year, and it’s not always that way.

"I wasn’t at the 2004 convention, but I can’t imagine people getting as excited then as they are now," said Gusciora. "I just can’t imagine what the mood would have been like for John Kerry."

Maybe not everyone is ready to run straight to the barricade for Obama-Biden, but there’s a thrill in the sense of the unknown at this Democratic National Convention; white-knuckle suspense over whether the party will emerge truly unified.

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Other states take note: New Jersey rules

DENVER -- Newark Mayor Cory Booker took the podium at the delegates’ breakfast this morning with a chip on his shoulder. 

“I flew in a couple days ago and I’ve been jousted with and made fun of by mayors all across America who do not respect New Jersey.  So allow me for a moment to talk about our state,” Booker told the crowd.

That inspired him to read a speech reinforcing New Jersey pride that turned out to be the highlight of the morning. 

Booker started by recounting the revolutionary war, when New Jersey minutemen came to George Washington’s aide to turn the tide at the Battle of Trenton.  He went on to talk about New Jersey citizens’ achievements in subsequent wars, up until the latest huge mobilization of reserve soldiers. 

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Vega doesn't want to go back to the legislature, but isn't happy with Rodriguez

DENVER – Just before enjoying the Democratic delegates’ first breakfast, West New York Mayor and former Assemblyman Sal Vega told PolitickerNJ that  he doesn’t expect to ever seek to return to the Assembly seat he vacated last year to run a grueling and bitter long-shot primary against for state Senate against Union City Mayor Brian Stack. That’s because he’d have to give up his mayoralty, which he prefers.  “I enjoy being the executive of my municipal government,” said Vega, a Hillary Clinton delegate.  “When I left the Assembly, Assemblyman [John] Burzichelli, who I had gotten to know, said ‘Don’t feel bad, because there are only two people that citizens know and remember: the president of the United States and the mayor of their town.”

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Rothman seeks to appease Clinton supporters

DENVER –  Seeking to shore up the full support of New Jersey’s Hillary Clinton supporters for Barack Obama, U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman used a line that sounded like it could have come from former President Bill Clinton.

“I hope this is not presumptuous,” he said.  “I think and feel your pain.”

The reception for Steve Rothman at today’s first delegate breakfast at the Inverness Hotel bore little resemblance to the one who, almost a year ago, drew a few boos and catcalls at the Democratic State Convention in Atlantic City when he advocated for Barack Obama, and made comments that some perceived as a knock on Hillary Clinton.

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Corzine speaking out to get Menendez a chance at the podium

DENVER -- Arriving at the Inverness Hotel this morning, Gov. Corzine said that he’s heard no griping about the New Jersey delegation’s seating arrangement at the Pepsi Center or the fact that nobody from the state is scheduled for a speaking spot there.

The latter, however, could change.

Corzine said that, if New Jersey is to have anyone speak at the convention, it should be Bob Menendez, although he acknowledged that most attention will be focused on speakers from swing states. PolitickerNJ reported last night that members of the New Jersey delegation were pressuring national Democrats to give Menendez a spot.

Corzine apparently is one of those members.

“I think Bob would be a tremendous spokesperson for New Jersey and the country. I think it has a lot of the outreach for a very important community that goes beyond New Jersey. I think he’s the foremost spokesperson for Hispanic unity in the United States Senate, if not more broadly in the country,” he said.

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Florio talks up Biden, weighs in on Andrews replacement

Former Gov. Jim Florio used to ride the Amtrak train to Washington with Joe Biden, now the Democratic VP candidate: Politicker photoFormer Gov. Jim Florio used to ride the Amtrak train to Washington with Joe Biden, now the Democratic VP candidate: Politicker photo
DENVER – Standing in the lobby of the Inverness Hotel this morning flanked by Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan and Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero, former Gov. Jim Florio said that he’s very excited to see his former commuting-mate tapped for the Democrats’ Vice-Presidential nomination.

“I’m very enthusiastic. He’s a personal friend,” said Florio, a superdelegate who originally supported Hilary Clinton.

During his years in Congress from 1975 to 1990, Florio, who commuted to Washington daily from the 1st District, would occasionally find himself on the same train as Biden, who commuted from Delaware. That led to a friendship and the occasional campaign function attended by Biden.

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If it's not to be Rone, mayor prefers a woman replacement in Central Ward

Newark Council President Mildred Crump with Brendan Gill, campaign manager for Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park): Politicker photoNewark Council President Mildred Crump with Brendan Gill, campaign manager for Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park): Politicker photo 

DENVER - The Rone drama drones on even though it’s Denver and not Newark.

Mayor Cory Booker, who today is scheduled to speak at the Black Caucus Town Hall at the convention center, says he would prefer a woman representative in the Central Ward.

His first choice is ousted Councilwoman Dana Rone, whom an assignment judge released from her elected duties last month after concluding that the councilwoman’s punishment for using her office to obstruct justice merited being barred for life from public office.

Rone remains in appeals mode. Meanwhile, support for former Central Ward Councilman Charles Bell - vanquished by the Booker Team in 2006 - grows, according to Newark sources.

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The Back Room

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

The future of NJ Politics should not be politicians investigating politicians

By JON BRAMNICK Voices around the country agree with our concern that "bipartisan committee led by John Wisniewski is partisan." Below are observers who agree Wisneiwski's committee is not bipartisan: Chuck Todd, NBC News: "Democrats made a mistake... Read More >

Contributors

(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 »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
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

- PolitickerNJ.com

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