One candidate is bringing in the star power. The other would rather go it alone, thanks.
Gov. Jon Corzine has reserved the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel for a rally tomorrow featuring President Obama and a crowd of thousands. It’s early in the campaign season for the Democrat to be bringing in his party’s superstar, but Corzine needs the help, as the latest statewide poll shows him trailing Republican Chris Christie by a dozen points.
Christie settled for a visit by Republican national chairman Michael Steele, who spoke to about 100 people in Pitman on Monday. Christie might be wishing he could counter the Obama effect with a GOP star, but . . . well, who would that be?
The closest thing the Republican Party has to a star at the moment is Sarah Palin. When asked about inviting her to campaign for him, Christie reached for the nearest 10-foot pole.
“This is about New Jersey issues and New Jersey,” Christie said of the gubernatorial campaign. “And I don’t think having Governor Palin here would do me, or frankly the state, a whole lot of good in the sense that we need to focus on what the New Jersey issues are.”
Never mind that a recent nationwide poll showed 67 percent of Republicans want Palin to become “a major national political figure,” and 71 percent said they likely would vote for her if she ran for president in 2012. That’s the national GOP’s problem. Christie is running in New Jersey and doesn’t want Palin anywhere near Jersey’s Joes — Six-Packs or Plumbers.
Why? Because she’s a liability. Christie knows what the rest of us know: On policy, she is about as deep as a birdbath. Her blunders as Sen. John McCain‘s running mate last year should have proven she’s unelectable, and her resignation as governor of Alaska has proven she’s unreliable. But she’s managed to keep her political career alive by blaming her inadequacies on the media. (That would be the same media she invited along on a fishing trip that she went on . . . to get away from the media.)
If Christie thought Palin could deliver Jersey votes, she would be stumping all over the state. Really? You betcha! But Christie’s campaign smartly will keep Palin out of this election; as the front-runner, he’s not going to take a chance with someone whose ticket got trounced in New Jersey last year.
But Palin will still have plenty to do. She’ll write a book and probably end up where a lot of pretty faces short on political insight end up — on TV.