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Saturday, June 17, 2006

NJ-Sen: Tom Kean, Jr. is a Lightweight and a Coward

Posted by James L.

Scott Shields has a great diary up on Dailykos that I thought spoke volumes about the kind of guy we're facing in the New Jersey Senate race this year--namely, a lightweight and a coward. It's a great diary that I encourage you to read, but my favorite part is Shields' description of Kean's (dis)-ability to handle a forceful counter-attack by Bob Menendez to recent Republican smears at a NJ Association of Counties meeting:

What was Kean's response to the speech? Well, even though he was supposed to be sitting on the stage with Senator Menendez, he chickened out and waited outside until the Senator was done speaking. He then went up to the podium and delivered the same canned speech he'd been planning all along, with absolutely no response to the Senator's comments. After Kean, Jr. spoke, reporters tried to get him on the record. No such luck. As Josh Gohlke of the Bergen Record put it, Kean and his crew "stampeded down a carpeted hallway and into an elevator."

Several reporters managed to keep up, blurting out questions the candidate was determined not to answer.

Did he care to respond to Democratic candidate Robert Menendez's scathing speech just a few minutes earlier in the same ballroom? Was he, as Menendez charged, a lightweight armed only with empty attacks?

The Kean contingent stampeded down a carpeted hallway and into an elevator. The reporters and questions squeezed into it with them. Kean kept repeating a few slogans.

"I'm proud of both my record and my vision for the future of the country," Kean reiterated, this time with finality, as everyone spilled back out of the elevator and he hurried off. "Thank you very much!"

After talking for a few minutes, the reporters realized they had entered and exited the elevator on the same floor. So ended a strange episode in a campaign that is reaching impressive levels of absurdity, given that it's only June.

Stunts like hiding in an elevator say a lot about your character, Tom. And the worst thing you could have done is show your cowardice to members of the press. It's stories like these, as well as the results from this week's latest Quinnipiac poll, that have me breathing a little easier on this race (registered voters, April in parens):

Robert Menendez (D): 43 (40)
Tom Kean, Jr. (R): 36 (34)
Undecided: 17 (20)

The only way that the GOP can win this race is if they trick voters into thinking that the Kean brand is one of feel-good moderation, as exemplified by former Gov. Tom Kean, Sr. I think that we can feel a little bit more assured that Bob Menendez isn't the type of guy to play the kind of softball that would let the Republicans get away with this sort of nonsense.

Posted at 05:58 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, New Jersey | Technorati

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The DSCC has an awesome attack website up on Tom Kean Jr. ([http://www.toojuniorforjersey.com/ Too Junior for Jersey]) (although I suppose similar attacks could be directed at Bob Casey [then again, if current trends continue, the RNSC might pull out of the PA Senate race to focus on other races that they have a chance of winning].

Hopefully they add this latest incident soon.

Posted by: DemocraticLuntz [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 17, 2006 07:56 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Thanks for the kind words! I've got to say it's pretty great to be working on a campaign for a candidate who's not afraid to stand up and fight back. And even though the polling's looking good, but this is still going to be a tough race.

Posted by: Scott Shields [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 17, 2006 09:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Daddy Kean has just released a book and is making sure he/it gets press coverage from now till Nov. This act gets an "ultimate act of pandering" nomination for the year.
In 2000 in a 4 way republican primary race Kean, Junior just edged 2nd place to lose to Mike Ferguson-R-CD7.
Junior holds a very safe Gop State Senate District. Expecting alot of substance from Junior is expecting too much. I think this will become clearly visible or painfully apparent.

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 18, 2006 08:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think saying that this race is going to be tough is pretty speculative. Aside from his last name, Kean really has no assets to bring to bear in this race. After his bizarre fundraiser episode with Cheney (where Kean took traffic choked Route 1 instead of the Turnpike and thus missed the VP) and his latest non moving elevator gaffe, Kean is quickly revealing himself as the insignicant lightweight he truly is. Facing Bob Menendez, who is a savvy pol and knows how to engage in bare knuckle politics, he will lose at least as badly as Forrester lost to Corzine (6 points), despite however much the RNSC decides to squander.

Posted by: wjpugliese [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 08:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think saying that this race is going to be tough is pretty speculative. Aside from his last name, Kean really has no assets to bring to bear in this race. After his bizarre fundraiser episode with Cheney (where Kean took traffic choked Route 1 instead of the Turnpike and thus missed the VP) and his latest non moving elevator gaffe, Kean is quickly revealing himself as the insignicant lightweight he truly is. Facing Bob Menendez, who is a savvy pol and knows how to engage in bare knuckle politics, he will lose at least as badly as Forrester lost to Corzine (6 points), despite however much the RNSC decides to squander.

Posted by: wjpugliese [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 08:11 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

After a short stint in the General Assembly in a heavily Gop district Kean Junior was appointed to his current heavily Gop State Senate seat, which he then won (both occured in 2003). He has in essence never had a serious general election race against a democrat. His most serious contest to date was the 2000 gop congressional primary race which he lost to Ferguson in CD-7. This attests to how well he may do against a 7 term Congressman in a Statewide race.On one hand Menendez is going to have to distance himself from Corzine's growing unpopularity with the NJ budget crisis, on the other hand Kean is still casting votes in the State Senate and is under scrutiny for that as well as having to deal with Bush's low popularity in the Garden State. Even if it is close, Menendez is still the logical favorite.

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2006 01:38 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mr. Kean is an modern American phenomenon. I recall the 1980s, supposedly the "me generation." It was really nothing compared to now. Democrats are lucky; their crooks are all at the top. The bottom is full of young idealists who seek to change things. Their energy churns up the top so that good people can also get a chance to lead. But Republicans have this "faces" mentality, especially the Christian Right. They consider themselves suppressed by immoral "liberal" anti-Christs. This sense of victimology as the come-from-behind part comes very early in childhood. It does not provene from a sense of oppression but from a sense of inferiority and social ostracization. So, feeling mediocre or inadequate they feel obsessed with proving themselves to chosen leaders in rigid organizations. Being "inadequate" in their own minds, they feel that they have to think outside the box in order to survive. Such kids are looked for and collected by special organizations that designate them the organized defenders of freedom or morality against liberalism. This, they are told can only be accomplished in rigid disciplined organizations such as Buckley's Young Americans for Freedom. I saw these kids in YAF, for I was the NJ State Chairman for a while. I joined because I saw that only the "new" right was combating the "new" left advocacy for Communism. But what I noticed is that YAF was making these kids into bureaucratic cannibals without thoughts, only a voracious appetite to achieve power. They were not really fighting against liberals; they spent much more time internally in-fighting, each trying to devour the man above him for the only way you could get ahead is by eating the man sitting on your face in the slot you covet. Business men loved to see the young chicks growing up into vultures. They didn't care what personally motivated any of them so long as they learned to be vicious cannibals eating their way to the top, ready to serve the robber barons' interests. Well, in fact, the left and right cannibals just canceled each other out. But as Vietnam faded out of memory the left petered out. The right began to see itself as the only predatory carnivore around. It saw itself opposed only by what the New Left used to call "wishy-washy liberals." Many of these predatory humanoid Paranas got a start in politics during the Nixon campaign. And then they got a big break in the Reagan Era. But the bottom fell out for them with the end of the Cold War. With Communism dead and the New Left dead there seemed no more reason to the business moguls to feed the New Right with cash. Many of these kids had to grow up just then and had to look for real jobs in the real world. It is then that a lot of Evangelical Preachers saw the value of these young organizational cannibals. For example, Pat Robertson saw the value of a killer instinct such as Ralph Reed's. Pretty soon, the liberals were lambasted as the anti-Christs and the Evangelicals were called on to be the lemmings of a new "Conservative" movement. BY then, his Libertarian instincts repelled by these Christofascists, Buckley retired from the scene, writing only for the liberals that found him so reasonable in comparison.

But the cannibals moved on from Evangelical Organizations to politics, always preaching the message: we are the defenders of good against evil. We are suppressed because we want to bring the Lord Jesus back to power to rule sinful America. The sense of persecution not only motivated them but it also made them larcenous. Now "thinking outside the box" meant breaking the rules and violating the laws for advantage so that your opponent is taken completely by surprise.

And yet, the more pretended moral outrage they spewed, the purer they claimed to be. For a profligate boy as GW Bush, who apparently burned out his brain with booze and coke. never having to worry about a thing because his "Poppy" hired people to do his worrying for him, GW Bush became an ambitious politician anxious to prove his Poppy's disappointment wrong by becoming a politician. He learned about politics from a fellow profligate outsider working in Bush's father's presidential campaign who showed him that in politics, "a sucker is born every day." To cover his past, GW Bush simply threw it away, beginning life anew only at the point where he was "saved by accepting the Lord Jesus" in his heart at 40. Now, who he was, what he did didn't matter anymore. He was simply a saved soul. His political mentor died of a brain tumor begging forgiveness from all the victims of his ways. But Bush found another mentor, just as profligate as him: Karl Rove. Rove built Bush's image as the "compassionate conservative." With Bush's election and re-election as President they proved that having been saved by accepting Jesus in your heart was all you needed to be President of the United States. Then, they showed that as President one didn't have to know anything for all one had to do was follow his gut. Well, doing so, Bush proved that Christianity still does not trump biology; for in following his gut from beginning to end Bush didn't bring about the Will of the Lord on the planet; instead he drowned the globe in BUSHIT. At the same time he set a new standard of how little it takes to aspire to high elected office: one can be dumb and ignorant, it doesn't matter so long as one gathers all the right-thinking yahoos who feel denied and oppressed and who are bureaucratic cannibals with no scruples into a political organization. That is the theory of the "faces." A straw is weak alone and bends easily. But if you tightly tie together many straws with disciplined organization into "faces", they cannot be bent. If by now you are scared to death remembering that someone else named Hitler once though that mediocre and ignorant inferiors can gather their feelings of oppression and resentment into tightly discipline "faces" operating as thinking "out of the box" organizations that can rule unopposed, you are right. It was called FASCISM and this obsessive reliance on organization over principles and standards is best exemplified by the case of Ralph Reed who ran for Lt. Governor of Georgia in the Republican primaries. When asked if he might be hurt by his association with convicted swindler lobbyist Abramov, he replied: no way, just watch how on primary day my organization machine piles up the votes. In the end, he was beaten in a landslide by a total unknown.

Let that give you hope. But also be forewarned. Many mediocrities whose lives are nothing but privilege and bureaucratic cannibalism are ready to think their way out of the box in order to deceive the voters. There are Karl Rove wanna bes everywhere ready to help them come to power despite having no qualifications. These people have no regrets, no compassion, no ethics, no standards. All they want is power in order to get even with society for their own mediocrity. They are also very greedy and do the bidding of the highest payer. Bush has really lowered the bar of qualification for politics so all sorts of hungry vicious mediocrities are scratching their way to the top now. If you want to save America, you must prove what was proven by the Reed defeat: that political crime does not pay. You must not rest on your good intentions. You must expose these creatures for what they are to the public in debate, proving that they are not only stupid and ignorant but are compensating for it by lying and cheating. Take them on head on and, one by one, they will fall by the way side until finally, once again, it becomes clear that there are indeed qualifications, standards and ethics in American democracy.

Posted by: danielet [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 23, 2006 03:25 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment