The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Saturday, November 05, 2005  

Republicans Stoop Well Below the Gutter

If forced to name a place, just someplace, anyplace, in the U.S., where politics run uglier than they generally do in Philadelphia, I'd have to point to the fair Garden State to our near east, to New Jersey, where this year voters are to elect a new governor.

The latest evidence of the poisonous atmosphere in New Jersey: Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester, a right-wing Bushie of the most heinous sort, lagging in the latest polls, has stooped to publicizing the demise of the long, but ultimately unsuccessful, marriage of his Democratic opponent, Sen. Jon Corzine, and the lingering domestic, or household, bitterness associated therewith (Is it not almost always that way?), in a pathetic attempt to garner a few last-minute, undecided -- and uninformed -- votes in the No-Bid Millionaire's failing campaign for the top job in Trenton.

For the latest on Forrester's lowest-gutter tactics, see "Ex-wife of Corzine Jolts Race," by Kaitlin Gurney in Friday's Philadelphia Inquirer.

Reading the article, an intelligent person can only conclude that Forrester is failing, scared, and desperate. Gurney writes:

To many voters, Joanne Corzine may sound simply like a vengeful spouse, Democratic lobbyist Tom O'Neil said.

"People know there's a lot of raw emotion in divorce, and that while this is something totally new to politics in New Jersey, that may be what we're seeing," O'Neil said.

The Forrester camp has been careful to remind voters that their candidate met his wife in grade school and has been a dependable husband and father for nearly 30 years.

The decision to use Joanne Corzine's comments in an ad -- a day after a Forrester spokeswoman said the campaign would not attack Corzine's personal life -- could backfire, consultants from both parties warned. Most GOP advisers concluded yesterday that Forrester's move was a wise one, as he has trailed in every poll.

"The comments are compelling and relevant. I would have used them, too," said David Murray, a Republican consultant unaffiliated with the Forrester campaign. "But it does betray some campaign distress, because they're willing to risk the backlash."

Good for you, Mr. Murray. How admirable of you, having missed out on Forrester's lavish and indiscriminate doling out of thousands and thousands of dollars of high-margin consulting fees, to maintain the nerve to tell voters how eager you would have been to roll around in the spectacularly stinky pigsty New Jersey Republicans have created and fostered as Election Day approaches.

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