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Tue Feb 19, 2013, 06:02 PM

In New Jersey, Barbara Buono Is the Last Democrat Standing

by David Freedlander Feb 19, 2013 4:45 AM EST

Chris Christie casts a big political shadow—but one Democrat has stepped up to try to take him down a peg. David Freedlander reports

Last week was not a good one for Barbara Buono. The longtime state lawmaker had the week before become the only Democrat in New Jersey with the temerity—or the lack of a sense of self-preservation—to jump into the governor’s race against Chris Christie, he of the gargantuan girth, larger mouth, and still larger approval rating. On Tuesday, a Monmouth University poll put her 42 points down. More worrisome, nearly two thirds of Garden State voters said that Christie deserved a second term. He had just appeared on Late Night With David Letterman wolfing down doughnuts. A couple of unions had already endorsed the governor, and some Democratic leaders in the state signaled that they were about to do the same. On Wednesday, Christie was feted at the Silicon Valley home of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and was fending off questions from the Trenton press corps about whether or not his reelection campaign amounted to a coronation.

Then on Monday night, the SUV Buono was riding in made an ill-advised right turn and was slammed into by a Ford Escape; Buono was sitting in the back without a seatbelt, and ended up going to the hospital for a laceration above her right eye. The incident was a reminder of a car accident that former governor Jon Corzine had been in five years before, one that laid him up for several weeks and set him on the downward trajectory that would reach its nadir when he lost to the then little-known U.S. Attorney Christie in 2009.

But Buono seems to be holding up well, sitting in a navy-blue skirt suit and pearls in her purple, rambling Victorian-style home in the town of Metuchen, a close-knit bedroom community 20 miles away from New York City. A photo of her and President Obama was stuck on the fridge. Campaign aides trickled in from outside and headed to the basement, a temporary campaign headquarters until the real one is set up. Buono let in her baying German shepherd mix to growl at a visitor as she made the case for why Christie can and should be a one-term governor.

“I believe this governor’s decisions are guided by his aspirations for national office, whether it is his turning down billions of dollars in federal funding for women’s health care, turning down federal funding for the ARC tunnel”—a commuter rail project that would have been mostly paid for with federal funds that Christie scuttled—“or his failure to take a leadership role on gun safety. Leaders lead, and you shouldn’t pick and choose where you are going to lead based on what is going to impact your ambitions for national office.


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Reply In New Jersey, Barbara Buono Is the Last Democrat Standing (Original post)
DonViejo Feb 2013 OP
Arkana Feb 2013 #1
Cha Feb 2013 #2

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 06:18 PM

1. She's got chutzpah, I'll give her that.

She's gonna get creamed, though. Jersey likes their assholes, and Christie is a gigantic asshole.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 06:38 PM

2. Good Luck to Barbara Buono getting her message out on


"He is a good entertainer, but YouTube moments and choreographed town-hall meetings aren’t going to create the jobs in New Jersey,” she said. “I really feel strongly about this because I think the middle class and the working poor have been forgotten by the governor. And I feel that struggle because I have lived it.”

If the following is true.. it's an asshole thing to say, imo..

Democrats say that Buono will be a good contrast with Christie—on politics, on personality. Although he has kept to a Rose Garden strategy at the moment, and will get good press all year as he cuts ribbons on buildings brought back to life after Hurricane Sandy, when he does engage her, he will have to work to not come off as crass or condescending. But nobody in New Jersey thinks of Buono as their top choice. “She kicked the governor in the crotch at every opportunity, and that is how she became known, but she is also the default candidate,” said one top Democrat. “It was 2 a.m. and the bar was closing, and Barbara was looking pretty good, frankly.”

Thanks for the report on Barbara Buono, DV.. she sounds really good.

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