Jon Corzine, an early darling of the Obama administration, faces a surprising challenge in the upcoming Governor’s race in Blue Jersey.
He’s trailing NJ Prosecutor Chris Christie in a state poll by 4 points. Quite a feat this early in the game especially with the popularity of Obama.
Corzine is an ex-Goldman Sachs leprechaun who amassed an estimated $400 million before bailing out around the time Henry Paulson took over. He bought his way into the US Senate and did the same with the Governorship.
Now, he’s got a few things to worry about:
It’s no secret that New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine is in trouble in his re-election bid.
Just this morning another New Jersey poll showed the former Wall St. CEO trailing the lesser-known former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie by four points.
On MSNBC with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Corzine launched a pre-emptive defense. He said property taxes, which are very high in New Jersey, are the big issue. He also tried to tie himself to President Obama, mentioning his name multiple times.
“The president has done a remarkable job…,” Corzine said, adding that he looks forward to “working as a partner” with the White House to improve New Jersey. Then, he said he hopes, “We’ll see a different outlook at the polls” in November.
He said the level of property taxes “gets brushed” into the responsibility of governor’s office, and that if voters see just “incremental” change on it, it’s not enough. “The want faster movement,” he said. Combine that with the state of the economy and unease about personal economic situations, then “people want to look at alternatives as well as an incumbent.”
He defended his record, touting his efforts on school reform, health care and rebuilding infrastructure — “things the president is doing” that “we started a year earlier,” Corzine said. “Once the message gets through,” he said he was confident his standing in the polls would improve.
He joked that he hadn’t yet formally announced he was running for governor when asked.
“I am going to be running — I think that’s the first time I’ve said that on television,” he said. “Breaking news, no, no. Everybody knows we filed our papers in front of the deadline.”
Corzine’s tax/borrow/spend formula has the state in a $2.1 billion deficit. A deficit which ballooned out of control due to his mismanagement of public funds, creation of a bloated state bureaucracy, and loss of tax revenue due to obscene corporate taxes which have driven lucrative business out of New Jersey.
Consider New Jersey a microcosm of what the nation will look like under Obama.
Christie, or his nearest opponent, Lonegan, who is probably the better candidate, has a long road ahead against a democratically entrenched Governor with deep pockets and greased palms, but, this early polling does not bode well for Mr. Corzine.
Who knows, New Jersey could be a bright spot in an otherwise bleak future for the Republican party.
It’s a start.