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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It was 20 years - and 18 points ago

DENVER - Everyone has a favorite Democratic National Convention, and for former State Democratic Party Chairman Ray Durkin and party executive director Emma Byrne, the year was 1988, when Democrats left Atlanta, Georgia with a 17-18 point lead in the polls and fully confident they would buck the GOP.

"The high we got from the convention was huge, and everyone was absolutely convinced we couldn’t lose," recalled Byrne.

"That would change, of course," said Durkin. "That was before we learned that Mike Dukakis was a nice man. He was afraid to attack, and he took a beating."

The year was important for Durkin, the Vailsburg, Newark product who lived in the same neighborhood as other Irish-American party bulwarks: the late John Cryan (father of state chairman, Joe) and Assemblyman (And former State Party Chair) Tom Giblin (D-Montclair).

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Today's convention schedule

The Democratic National Convention will be called to order at 5:00 PM EST today, with a theme of "One Nation."  Featured speakers include Michelle Obama, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), former President Jimmy Carter, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, who will introduce a tribute to her uncle, U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA).

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Primary hurt still lingers in Obamaland

State Party Chairman Joseph Cryan operates at the Inverness.: Politicker photoState Party Chairman Joseph Cryan operates at the Inverness.: Politicker photo

DENVER - It was one of those unlikely big event introductions: the governor of New Jersey revving up the crowd before he rolled out U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn).

Usually it’s one of the members of the congressional delegation warming up an audience for the governor, but this occasion was different, as onetime Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) stalwart Gov. Jon Corzine yielded to Rothman, a Northeast Regional co-chair of the Obama campaign.

Co-hosting a party with Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) at the Inverness Hotel on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, Rothman hit the two big power chords the Obama campaign hoped to sound with its pick this weekend of Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) as Obama’s vice presidential running mate.

"Joe Biden is going to be great at reaching out to working class voters, plus he has foreign policy experience," said the congressman, the only member of the New Jersey delegation to have endorsed Obama from the beginning.

There were scattered hand claps - and a little spark of happiness for Biden.

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The Back Room

National progressive group backs Watson Coleman in CD12

The Progressive Democrats of America Co-Founder and National Director Tim Carpenter and State Chair Mary Ellen Marino today endorsed Bonnie Watson Coleman for the Democratic nomination in the 12thCongressional District.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 24, 2014

Organization to honor Gov. KeanAn event next month for Community Options, Inc. will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization's founding and honor Governor Tom Kean, Sr., a was an advocate over 25 years ago for bringing individuals with developmental disabilities out of state institutions into small group homes.Robert...

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How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >


(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... 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 »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is the only Tea Party group that endorsed Mitt Romney. These guys are the Vichy French of the Tea Party movement. They're the guys who say 'Viva la France,' and then you can't find them when the fighting starts. Come on." - GOP strategist Rick Shaftan, on the Independence Hall Tea Party group.



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