Sunday, August 15, 2004

It ain't gonna be pretty 
Is Governor-in-waiting Dick Codey getting the heave-ho from the party? Is the Steve Adubato Sr./Sharpe James alliance no longer the center-of-gravity in the NJ Democratic Party? Steve Kornacki at PoliticsNJ.com suggests that South Jersey Demcratic power broker George Norcross and McGreevey king-maker John Lynch are pushing hard to euchre Codey out.

How? By inducing McGreevey to move his effective resignation date up - early enough to allow a special gubernatorial election in November of 2004 instead of 2005 (when there would have been one anyway). This would make Codey a very lame-duck Governor for just 3 1/2 months - from mid-September through inauguration day 2005, giving him a nice entry on his resume and allowing him to live out his life addressed as "Governor." It wouldn't leave him with enough time or money to mount his own campaign.

Why? To allow hugely popular senior Senator Jon Corzine to enter the race as the white-knight candidate. Corzine has more name recognition than any possible Republican candidate besides 2001 loser Brett Schundler, and Schundler is anathema to most of the R's movers and shakers.

Despite Corzine's recent statements that he wasn't going to run for the Governorship, McGreevey's resignation has changed the picture, leaving Corzine an open door, if he wants to walk through it. With Norcross, Lynch, Bergen County party chairman Joseph A. Ferriero, and Corzine himself pushing, I wonder how much push-back Codey and Adubato will be able to muster. McGreevey's going to need a job post-resignation, and Norcross, Lynch, and Corzine could smooth that path immensely. Is the Hudson/Essex machine going to get squeezed in a pincer action between Lynch and Norcross to the south and Ferriero to the north, with Corzine as fifth columnist in Hoboken?

It ain't gonna be pretty.

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