By Steve Adubato, Jr. | July 12th, 2013 - 1:33pm
| More
Alan Rosenthal: A Mentor to Many
The late Dr. Alan Rosenthal is pictured here in his last public television appearance with Steve Adubato, in which he talked about his last book, "The Best Job in Politics: Exploring How Governors Succeed as Policy Leaders."

My friend and academic advisor, Dr. Alan Rosenthal, passed away this week. Like countless other graduate students who pass through the hallowed halls of the Eagleton Institute on the Rutgers University campus, I was a student and protégé of Alan’s. When I met him in 1981, he was the director of the Institute. He was funny, self-deprecating, insightful, and brilliant. His understanding of state government, and how it worked and didn’t work, was unparalleled. His respect for state legislatures was appreciated by legislatures throughout this country. He was considered by most to be the number one expert in the nation on this topic.

Most New Jerseyans in politics knew Alan Rosenthal for casting the deciding vote in important redistricting battles; he made some friends, as well as a lot of enemies, in that process. But for those of us who were his students, his charges, at Eagleton, and later stayed in contact with Alan—as he would invite us back onto the Eagleton campus to teach, lecture, and help then Eagleton fellows—there would only be positive feelings toward him. He was always looking out for his students, what was best for them, their futures.

In a state where people involved in the political process are obsessed with their own egos and press clippings, Alan Rosenthal was the antithesis of that. It was never about him. For him, it was always about the institution of state government and state legislatures—how to make the process work better, and how to bring better people into the process to serve the public in a more meaningful way. I know this sounds a bit grandiose, but in Alan’s case, it’s absolutely true. He always came from a really good place.

On a personal level, when I was struggling to complete my doctorate at Rutgers, I remember wanting to give up because the dissertation process became too daunting. I met with Alan in his cluttered office. He told me that I had no choice but to keep moving forward, to be practical, to suck it up and get the dissertation done, because in the end, I didn’t want to be known as someone who spent several years in a Ph.D program and then wound up without a Ph.D. He reminded me that my ego would never be able to handle that. Like I said, Alan was always looking out for what was best for his students, and in my case, he was right. Without his guidance and support, I’m not convinced I ever would have finished my doctorate.

 

But Alan Rosenthal did that for so many others. He was supportive. He always picked up the phone when you called, he listened, he cared, and he was a great friend and mentor. He will be sorely missed by those of us who were lucky enough to have been his students…and his friends.

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.

Read More >

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...

Op-Ed

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 >

Contributors

(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.

- PolitickerNJ.com

Poll

Who would you back for Governor of NJ in this 2017 general election dream match-up?:

Resources

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources