Up now, I have a report from the trail in New Jersey (which is really lovely when the leaves change) and a weekend of speeches by Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic nominee Barbara Buono. It’s long, but you should read through to see how Christie’s now campaigning to beat the Democratic senators who opposed him over the last four years.
“You would think, from watching his commercials, that Jim Whalen and I went to the prom together. I mean, you’d think Jim Whalen’s calling me every morning and asking, ‘Gee, governor, what can I do for you today?’ Let me tell ya, not once in four years has Jim Whalen picked up that phone and asked me that. It’s been me coming to him and saying, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do for Atlantic City.’ He’s just come along for the ride. He’s trying to make it sound like we’re partners.”
“He’s a scumbag!” yelled a supporter.
“Well, I can’t say that,” deadpanned Christie. “Sen. Whalen, I want to make sure you’re listening. Don’t mislead the people of the second legislative district that you’ve been a supporter of mine, when you haven’t. Don’t force me to come down here and tell the truth to people.”
But Democrats remain confident that they’ll hold the legislature. Watch this on election night: If New Jersey ends up giving Christie a Republican Senate, it’ll be wholly due to his personal charisma. This isn’t like Mississippi or Arkansas, where the state’s voters realized that after voting Republican for president for years they should take power away from the Democrats who ran the place. Is Christie a fluke, charming voters so they don’t notice the state’s far-from-best-in-the-region comeback? Or is he saving the GOP?