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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The political name game

You can tell the U.S. Senate race between Democrat Robert Menendez and Republican Thomas Kean Jr. has made the national political map by the star power that has been traipsing through the state. On Tuesday, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., campaigned with Menendez. On Sunday, it was a battle of A-List senators, with Hilary Rodham Clinton of New York for Menendez and John McCain of Arizona for Kean. Earlier this month, Sen. Barack Obama, the other senator from Illinois, was part of a love fest for Menendez. September was Former Presidents Month, with George H.W. Bush stumping for Kean and Bill Clinton for Menendez. Plus Kean has called on perhaps the No. 1 New Jersey political star -- his father, the former governor.

Does anybody really care? I doubt it. Do voters make up their mind based on a sound bite or newspaper photo of a famous senator or ex-president with the local guy? Let's hope not. As for the money theyve come here to raise, it will probably help underwrite more of those obnoxious TV ads or mailers that flood our homes as election day nears.

Where do the candidates stand on the important issues? What will they do to improve the quality of life for New Jerseyans? Meaningful answers are hard to find. And don't expect any clues from those famous visitors, who probably wouldn't know one end of the state from another. The political process has to do better than this.


Anonymous ericthered said...

Don't underestimate "star" power. If it didn't really work, then Michael Jordan wouldn't have been paid tons of $ to sell Hanes, and so on.

What some politicians should be wary of is that stars might turn people *away* from candidates. For me, the fact that Menendez is endorsed by Dick Durbin (who a year or two ago compared American soldiers at Gitmo to Nazis and Communists under Stalin and Pol Pot) just clinched my decision to pull the lever for Kean.

9:14 AM, October 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got a call from my union the other night to support Menendez, because he is for "the unions".
Hogwash, you cant be "for the unions" and also encourage the illegal immigration happening that is part of the problem by taking away good jobs from American citizens who may be unionized or attempting to unionize.

4:37 PM, October 27, 2006  

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