Tuesday, June 1, 2010

2nd Act of American Politics: Senator Jon Corzine

It is an incumbent responsibility of every leader (and every group), to plan for contingencies which may likely have a negative impact upon the group. Common “contingencies” are: Hurricanes, Floods, Forest Fires, Power Blackouts, and Blizzards. Less common might be: Computer Viruses, Disco Music, Denial of Internet Service, Swine Flu, BP's Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Red Sox actually winning the World Series (weren't we all surprised about that one).

A common problem, which is not sufficiently addressed, is the unexpected change in the LEADERSHIP itself, in terms of: promotion, job / career change, illness or death. How many small companies have been forced to close, because the founding owner never planned the “end game”. The Boss dies, and the company dies with him (don't we have enough unemployment ???)

Governor Chris Christie may be required to face the very real possibly of appointing someone to fill the unexpired term of our “junior“ US Senator: Mr. Frank Raleigh Lautenberg, currently 84 years of age, who’s term will up for re-election in 2014. While Mr. Lautenberg has serve the citizens of New Jersey with honesty, integrity and distinctions for more than 25 years - and age is not a barrier to effective public service; NEVERTHELESS we must all face the real and distinct possibility that Senator Lautenberg may not be able to complete his present term of office.

Therefore I propose the following “contingency candidate”, in the event that a successor is needed: Former Senator (and Former Governor): Mr. Jon Corzine

OK – you can all stop laughing now.

Here are some of the reasons why Jon Corzine is the best choice to fill Senator Lautenberg’s unexpired term:

1. Prior Experience Part-1: While Cozine was defeated for a second term as Governor (by Christie), he had been a two term US Senator; so New Jersey will be getting an experienced senator.

2. Prior Experience Part-2: When Cozine was serving in the US Senate, he served on a number of important (and influential) committees; as well as being the former chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. The simple "bottom line" is: He has lots of important friends and a boatload of IOUs - all of which could be VERY HELPFUL to New Jersey.

3. NO SENATE Power Shift: Mr. Corzine, like Mr. Lautenberg, is a card carrying, long time, member of the Democratic Party, so this succession will not affect the balance of power in the US Senate; as verse the popular election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts Special Election. In making this appointment, Christie can not be accused of hijacking the Federal Government – although I’m certain he will get a HUGE amount of grief from his GOP Friends and the Party (such is the high price of bipartisanship and cooperation - read on). Corzine was moderately "bi-partisan", and as a multi-millionaire, would be acceptable to the moderate wing of the Republican Senatorial Minority.

4. Bi-Partisanship: The Appointment of Mr. Corzine is a strong and effective way to show Governor Christie’s bipartisanship, which will doubtlessly earn him a few extra points with the Democratic Leadership in the NJ Legislator, a body which is of more pressing concern than the affairs of the Federal Government in Washington, DC (i.e., Look how I am prepared to meet you half way; now what can you do for me?). NOTE: Historians among us will recall that FDR appointed Wendell Willkie, whom he had defeated in the 1940 elections, to be a roving ambassador; so what’s the down side? (see Spoiler)

5. Open Election: Mr. Lautenberg's term is scheduled to expire 2014, and Corzine would be unlikely to seek election in his own right; thus paving the way for his graceful "public retirement". This seat would then be "contestable" (without an incumbent) and provide the citizen’s of New Jersey with the rare opportunity reconsider their political options.

6. PUBLIC SERVICE: How can Jon Corzine say “NO THANKS” when asked to serve the citizens of New Jersey? He is: (a) “retired” from any current governmental responsibilities; (b) he has the time and (c) he has the ability and experience to perform the job – why not take this one last public opportunity? The US Senate is the last bastion of Public Debate – a place where real issues can be openly discussed, and government policy can be fashioned. Bet he gets a Standing Ovation on the floor of the Senate, upon his return, any takers?

If Mr. Corzine declines this offer, Governor Christie still gets to play the "Bi-Partisan Trump Card" in Trenton (hey I made an offer to the guy and he said "No Thanks" - I can lead a horse to water, I can't make him drink; what do you want me to do, eh?). How can Christie be expected to offer the seat to a Democrat (like Congressman Bob Andrews) who would then campaign for re-election; doesn't that deprive the people their right of an open primary?

Such an overture might also provide an opening (and political cover) for an otherwise unelectable "moderate political placeholder", until the next election cycle. "Chris Daggett, Chris Daggett - pick up line 2, Governor Christie calling."

Appointing Senator Jon Corzine is a winning combination for:
(a) the citizen’s of New Jersey,
(b) Governor Chris Christie / NJ Politics,
(c) the US Senate, and (finally)
(d) Jon Corzine, too.


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