On Jon Corzine

If this story is to be believed, it doesn't look great for Corzine. (update: He's off the ventilator, which is great news.)

As some of you know, I worked for Corzine in 2005, so I figured I'd say a few words.  In general, I dislike talking about bad things that happen to powerful figures and how tragic these events are.  I don't think that powerful people's problems are any more significant than anyone else's, and so I find the collective outpouring of grief pretty tacky and exploitative.  But I know that people in general sympathize with powerful figures, and in some senses express ourselves through them.  That's why politicians can become so iconic, because for their supporters they become a part of their identity.  So I guess since I know Corzine, I should talk about him and what this event means.

Jon Corzine is a great man.  Though I didn't spend a lot of time with him during the campaign for Governor of New Jersey, I learned a lot from him about politics, morality and greatness.  I met Corzine during a DSCC fundraiser in 2004 for which I was a volunteer, and asked him a question.  "How can we restore legitimacy to our government if one party is criminally corrupt, and the other party must hold them accountable, without it seeming to be a partisan vendetta?" He smiled, and wouldn't answer the question.  But he hired me a few months later.

I had two connections with Corzine before I went to work for him.  One, I knew that he was intensely concerned about Darfur and genocide, and that was something that I cared about deeply as well.  Genocide is a great moral challenge, because there is literally no benefit to dealing with it, but it is the ultimate sin.  Except, of course, it's difficult to explain to your grandkids why you didn't act when you could have.  Our immigration policies in the 1930s kept lots of Jews out of America, which killed them.  My great-aunt worked on this issue with an unbelievable ferocity.  She remembered it her whole life, such that in the 1980s she got angry at my grandmother for putting my grandfather in a Catholic nursing home that was near her apartment.  "How could you do that after what the Pope did to the Jews?" My grandmother really had no choice, since she couldn't drive.  So anyway, I felt deeply about genocide, and I know that Corzine did as well because he pushed through the Senate the Darfur Accountability Act.  I genuinely respected him for that, and felt that working for a man like him would be an honor.  And it is absolutely true that Jon Corzine is a great man.

But he was also a man who made choices.  After all, you don't become the CEO of Goldman Sachs through altruism, and some part of his fortune came from the clients Goldman served, and Goldman served everyone with lots of money.  I realized, through the campaign, that there is no such thing as clean politics, that everyone has some dirt on their hands whether they realize it or not, but what is important is whether you have the force of character to recognize the world for what it is and work to improve it.  Jon Corzine has the character to recognize his own privilege, and to recognize the privilege that all Americans have, and work to justify it.  At the same time, Corzine has burning ambition, white hot.  He was willing to work harder than anyone and to discipline his own interactions with others with a shocking and necessary aggressiveness.  Though he pushed for an end to genocide, after 2004 he saw that being a Senator with low seniority in the minority party was not a route to the kind of power he wanted.  And so he ran for Governor of New Jersey, with the understanding that he was abandoning one route to work on Darfur for a more concrete ability to get things done.  He knew his talent, and he knew that in a moral sense he was obligated to use it as effectively as it could be used.

Throughout the campaign, Corzine still wanted to push Darfur, which frustrated his staff to no end (except me).  He went to Chad during the campaign, and kept trying to bring up the subject in various churches.  The collective response was 'Senator, you're running for Governor of New Jersey'.  I happened to be the blogger on the campaign, and I had a friend working for the Huffington Post the day of the launch of that site.  Senator Corzine wanted to write a post for the site, and I helped work with his Senate-side staff to do it on the issue of Darfur.  I had to fight tooth and nail with the press secretary, who had come from Verizon, to put it up there.  Various consultants were worried that Corzine would seem too liberal if he put up something on the Huffington Post.  I put it up anyway, and was nearly fired, since I figured that Corzine would want to speak out on Darfur everywhere he could.  After he got a call from Arianna Huffington expressing gratitude, I was able to keep my job.  And apparently the electorate didn't hold it against him.  In all honesty, I couldn't blame the staffers who tried to reign him in, and who wanted me gone.  Corzine was running for Governor of New Jersey, not UN Secretary-General.  But he just believed, through force of will, that he could make a difference with Darfur because of his willpower.  And that's greatness.

Ironically, Corzine knew that he had abandoned Darfur, and I, who admired him because of that work, worked to help him change jobs to one where he wouldn't be dealing with genocide directly.  And yet, he would have found a way as New Jersey governor to make an impact; he's been traveling as Governor all over the world, and I'm sure he will be consulted by the next President on foreign policy.  Corzine's a great man that way.  I'm sure he talked to Senator Menendez about this issue before appointing him to the upper body, and if he recovers he'll work on the issue somehow.  He used to say that with the right people and the right amount of capital, we can accomplish anything.  That is a line that came straight from Goldman Sachs.  That was my other connection to Corzine; he had run Goldman Sachs, and in 2000, I had a great job offer from that investment bank and nearly took it.  I respected Goldman immensely, and transferred that respect to Corzine.  Goldman recruits people by talking about integrity, and how talent is what differentiates them from every other bank out there.  And it's true.  Goldman has an illustrious alumni network, because the people in that bank realize that it is global networks, people, that control the levers of power.  And integrity is extremely valuable in such a system, it is in fact a competitive advantage.

Corzine was bringing this philosophy to New Jersey, a state that desperately needs fixing.  NJ is a rich state with a great educational system, but the infrastructure is decaying and property taxes are outrageously high.  Structurally, the problem is that there are too many local fiefdoms, which leads to corruption and waste, and yet, since no one wants to give up their township, the population resigns themselves to a cynical attitude about politics.  It's an irresponsible attitude, but then, no governor had challenged the people since the 1970s.  

Corzine was in the midst of asking for greatness, of fixing the state.  His staffers were always trying to reign his liberal instincts in, whether it was trying to prevent him from putting something on the Huffington Post or discussing gay marriage.  I remember one episode, during the third debate with Doug Forrester, when a questioner asked him about the drinking age.  Corzine answered that of course it should be 18, that if you're old enough to die for your country you're old enough to drink.  Immediately campaign staff panicked and issued a press release retracting the statement, but everyone knew that he had only said what he believed.  Corzine hadn't been 18 for some time, so he didn't realize that the drinking age was 21.  But still, his instincts might have been more in touch with reality than with the realities of politics.

What struck me about that campaign, most of all, is how meaningless the substance really was.  Everyone on all sides - the press, the Democrats, the Republicans - knew that the state was in fiscal trouble.  The ads - about handguns, corruption, extremism, infidelity - were put on the air to the tune of 70 or 80 million dollars, yet in May Corzine was leading by 10 points, and in November he won by 10 points.  Corzine's liberal instincts were what the public wanted.  They wanted someone who would be honest about taxes, about the drinking age, and someone who was principled enough to vote against the war.  They believed that these traits went along with his business instincts, because they did.  Jon Corzine is something of a throwback to the liberal internationalist businessman, and as such, he has more in common with today's progressive movement than the people he shared space with in the Senate.  

Before his accident, he had high approval ratings as Governor and was showing greatness and character as Governor.  He had faced down South Jersey bosses and wrestled with tax reform.  He was well on his way to fixing the fiscal mess in New Jersey, and even though he kept his staff around him to restrain his instincts, that was really aesthetic.  And yet, in his accident, we can see that there is a price to greatness.  It may sound simple, but he wasn't wearing his seatbelt.  He wasn't following the law.  Corzine wasn't a lawbreaker, but, like with the drinking age, he didn't believe in stupid limits on individual freedom.  Unfortunately, in this case, his unwillingness to accept the limits of mere mortality, which is something that great men and women often do not want to accept, was exceptionally costly.  And that is tragic, because we need more great people like Jon Corzine, people are unafraid to follow their morals, unafraid to get their hands dirty, and unafraid to hold their elite friends to the same standard they hold everyone else.

Tags: Jon Corzine (all tags)

Comments

54 Comments

Re: On Jon Corzine

I'm from NJ moved to Nevada 6 years ago, but want to add my best wishes as well.

by nevadadem 2007-04-20 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

Matt, I so appreciate your words about Corzine.  I was very disturbed by the fact that he wasn't wearing a seat belt - almost as upset as I have been about some of the horribly egregious things Bush and his minions have done; and that mystified me for a while.  It mystified me until I realized that, just like the Princess of Wales, Corzine, a Democrat who should know better, figured the little rules the rest of us have to follow don't apply to him.  And it's in the small things that we reveal our arrogance.  Like whether we return that extra change we received in error, or if we report the real amount we made in tips, or whether we use a fuzz buster to avoid being caught exceeding the speed limit.  I guess there really is a Grand Canyon between folks like Corzine who have money, influence and power; and us little people who damn well better obey the law.

by dksbook 2007-04-20 01:52PM | 0 recs
What?!

Lots of poor people don't wear their seat belts either. You have absolutely no basis for this.

by andgarden 2007-04-20 01:55PM | 0 recs
That's ridiculous

He's 60+.  They grew up in the "Seat-belt-optional" age.  Any further speculation is ridiculous.

by dataguy 2007-04-20 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

  Isn't being on a respirator enough punishment for Corzine?   Shut the hell up.

by cilerder86 2007-04-20 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

That is really sad that his condition remains so serious.

by robliberal 2007-04-20 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

honestly I don't wear my seat belt either -----I don't think it shoul be a law and I  accept a higher chance of death willingly because I feel antsy and uncomfortable in a seatbelt, I may change my mind and start wearing one but it should be my decision to make not the states.

by nevadadem 2007-04-20 01:59PM | 0 recs
How's your health insurance?

You can make an irresponsible choice about seat belts if you can afford spending several months in the IC.

by dataguy 2007-04-20 02:01PM | 0 recs
Re: How's your health insurance?

if you compare the "risk" of death between not wearing your seatbelt and activities like eating fast food or smoking ect...it is not statistically a big deal, granted it does increase your risk but some people choose to be unhealthy or make stupid choices an I omn't think laws should be the remedy for those choices. children ofcourse should be madated to be buckled becuase they don't have the abilty to make those choices.

by nevadadem 2007-04-20 02:10PM | 0 recs
Re: How's your health insurance?

While wearing a seat belt is a good idea, it may not have resulted in less severe injuries for Corzine.  I recall reading that a guard rail sliced into his vehicle on the passenger side where he had been sitting before he was thrown to the back.

by gddenes 2007-04-20 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: How's your health insurance?

It was the throwing part that probably did the most serious damage.  The broken ribs, cracked sternum and cracked vertabra are classic injuries from being tossed forward then back again.  

Sorry, I have no sympathy for people who choose not to wear a seatbelt.  It's a lifesaver and it's not that hard.

by Embee 2007-04-20 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: How's your health insurance?

Right, but for all we know he could have been cut in half by the guardrail had he been wearing a seatbelt.  Just because seatbelts are statistically safer doesn't make them safer in a particular situation.  I agree that people should wear them, but I don't understand the anger about this.

by gddenes 2007-04-20 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: How's your health insurance?

I really dont understand the anger about not wearing the seat belt.  I was in a sever accident about 11 years ago.  A semi truck ran over me while I was sitting in traffic.  I had taken off my seat belt to grab my purse that fell from the passenger seat.  The state tropper told me if I was wearing my seat belt, there was no way I would have made it.  He said when he was called that when he arrived he though I was going to the morge.  So, wearing a seat belt isnt always a life saver.  

by CartenCasey 2007-04-20 10:17PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

I'm troubled by the Governor of any state violating the law.  Whether or not you agree with the law, it seems very odd to me that a vehicle being driven by a state trooper whose job it is to enforce this law  has a occupant violating the law even if that occupant is the Governor of the state.

I'm also troubled by the reports that the vehicle was traveling at 91 mph, far above the speed limit.  I can't imagine a valid reason for the vehicle exceeding the limit.  The state trooper should have issued himself a citation for excessive speed.

Maybe naively, I believe those in high office should lead by example and follow the laws of the state they have sworn to enforce.

by Monkey In Chief 2007-04-20 04:11PM | 0 recs
Thank goodness he has

good health insurance.

For many Americans without health insurance or with crappy insurance, this would be an economic/corporal death sentence.

by dataguy 2007-04-20 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

and on the drinking age I couldn't agree with you more, I kind of like what Goerge Will wrote about it, still require 21 to purchase but drinking while not driving should never be a crime.

by nevadadem 2007-04-20 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

Why 21 to purchase? An 18 year old is going to know 21 year olds who can buy them alcohol, it's just a meaningless obstruction.

To my mind, it's a matter of culture. In southern Europe, the legal age for drinking tends to be around 14, which is fine because they don't really have a culture of binge drinking. In Britain, it's 18 but we probably have more pissed 16 year olds on a Friday night than, say, Portugal, as we have a culture in which you drink to get very drunk rather than just to be social.

Either way, 21 does seem too high. I don't even think it's that high in Iceland, where one of the major problems the government faces is trying to stop its population drinking themselves to death (cultural factors and SAD mean that Scandinavia has a very high rate of alcoholism and in consequence very high duties on alcohol).

by Englishlefty 2007-04-21 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

  He's on a ventilator?!  I'm truly very sorry to hear the bad news.

by cilerder86 2007-04-20 02:05PM | 0 recs
he is off ventilator today

by John DE 2007-04-20 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: he is off ventilator today

Link

by DanielUA 2007-04-20 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: he is off ventilator today

Good to hear.  I live in NYC and this has been on the news everyday since it happened but no one has talked about this being life threatening.  The main discussion is the pain, the long rehab and the stupidity of not wearing a seat belt.  Something tells me that won't happen again.

by John Mills 2007-04-20 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: he is off ventilator today

It isn't life threatening.  The ventilator is to help him breathe, because when you have six broken ribs your first instinct is to not disturb them by breathing.  The ventilator actually forces him to take those breaths and I'm sure he has a lot of pain medication to compensate.  

by Embee 2007-04-20 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: he is off ventilator today

Thanks.  I liked where Matt was going about Corzine but thought the health side was a little alarmist.  I was trying to say no one locally thought it was life threatening, just that he was pretty banged up and in a lot of pain.

by John Mills 2007-04-20 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: he is off ventilator today

His condition IS life threatening. I'm in radiology as an MRI tech/xray. Breaking your sternum is NOT an easy thing to do. It's a flat, hard bone - for a reason. It protects your chest cavity.

Being on the ventilator was also used I would imagine to help him breathe deeper & regularly due to the fractures first of his sternum, and then of his ribs. There are other reasons as well.

by Wordsmith 2007-04-21 04:36AM | 0 recs
Re: he is off ventilator today

Link?

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-20 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

by John DE 2007-04-20 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

I find it interesting that Richard Codey is now acting governor, again.  I hope Corzine is able to get back to work soon.

by Vox Populi 2007-04-20 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

I hope Corzine gets well soon.

Did they catch the driver?  I was under the impression this was hit and run, but maybe I am mistaken.  Was this truly an accident, or did someone know it was him and gun for him?  I hope if it was hit and run, they catch the guy and he does some serious jail time.

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-20 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

They found the driver.  He was described in the papers as "mentally impaired" and had no idea his swerving had caused an accident.  He wasn't charged.

by John Mills 2007-04-20 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

Ok... I'm glad to hear it wasn't intentional or anything.  Hope he gets better.

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-20 08:29PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

Corzine had his driver going 91 mph with a flashing light.  They were lucky that they didn't kill someone in another state.

As a NJ resident, I am having a hard time forgiving Corzine.  

by judy from nj 2007-04-20 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

thank you for your time:their was no other driver the other driver didn't know thier was any mishap.it seems the gov. had a lead foot besides no seat belt. i would say 91 MPH.a little fast i would say.thank you kbmitchell

by kbmitchell 2007-04-20 10:45PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

Amen, Matt.  Get well soon, Governor.

by KDJ 2007-04-20 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

Matt,

Fantastic post.  First, my condolences to the Governor of New Jersey.  

Second, as a former resident of Hudson County (one of the most unique places in the country), I couldn't agree more with your assessment of the problems with the state--too many fiefdoms.  A relative of mine worked in city government in Guttenberg and actually believed the city had no real reason to exist.  That's an extreme case, but there are a lot of towns and townships that should simply be absorbed by larger entities.

Third, do you know what the governor's plans were for the machine in Hudson County?  It's a Democratic machine, so maybe it was nothing.  That being said, there isn't a less progressive group around than the politicians of Hudson County.  Just wanted your thoughts on that.

Again, great post.

by Double B 2007-04-20 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

I got my grad degree from a joint Rutgers-UMDNJ program. Talk about fiefdoms of bureaucracy...

by joesaho 2007-04-20 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

You make it sound so final, Matt. Corzine will recover, humbled but not broken. And he will probably be re-elected by a wide margin. Granted, he's lost the head of steam he'd built up; but the experienced, and well-liked, Cody will do a fine job till Corzine is back on his feet.

You want tragedy? I did independent expenditure work for Florio. Talk about a waste of time.

by Tod Westlake 2007-04-20 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

I wrote this before I saw that he was taken off the ventilator.

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-20 03:18PM | 0 recs
but...

I don't think your concern is misplaced.  While it's been repeated again and again that his situation is not life-threatening, I see in the article you linked to that infection is a real possibility, and that could develop into a life-threatening situation.  But I'm not a medical doctor!

by John DE 2007-04-20 03:50PM | 0 recs
My Governor

Matt, Somebody needed to say this about Corzine. I'm glad it was you.

I worked with the Corzine 2005 campaign too; it's where I met Matt. I was advisor to something called the Corzine Connection, his paradigm-altering effort to bring his candidacy to people who would normally never have access, through very high-level surrogates for himself. Usually, candidate time -  and that of his high-powered friends -  is only available to big check-writers. But I got to do things like send Congressmen and Senators to talk to 18-year-old First Time Voters in living rooms and let them ask whatever questions they wanted for as long as they wanted of people they'd only seen on CNN. It meant something to me, that Corzine didn't want distance from ordinary people.

I think of two moments with Corzine he'd never remember, but I always will. When I met him, he came to request primary endorsement from my County Democratic Committee, for Senate. I asked my litmus question: What do you think of the Open Space movement? He smiled and told me I wouldn't like his answer and he knew it would cost him my vote. For too many people,, he said, what they care about in Open Space is saddling the taxpayers with a big green buffer zone so their neighborhood is always pretty. Look, I live well, and your county's rich and green, too. Talk to me about using Open Space for vacant-lot gardens in tough neighborhoods where people can grow some tomatoes, or a little park in a poor city where flowers grow.

He lost a lot of endorsement votes in that meeting, but he got mine.

In my second-favorite Corzine moment, I approached him at a crowded event to ask for a favor for my group, Democracy for America. He was surrounded by people wanting things, so I chose my words economically, starting with what DFA is. He stopped me, draped his arm on me, and proceeded to tell the gaggle around him what DFA is, how grateful he was for it, and that he would do whatever I asked of him for it, and so should they.

My governor is a decent, fiercely intelligent and flawed person, as Matt says. Neglecting seatbelt use was a terrible mistake, but it doesn't begin to define him for me.

by Rosi in NJ 2007-04-20 03:30PM | 0 recs
Real Perspectives Please!

I always wear seat belts, but really, not wearing them is not such a big deal. There is no big moral aspect to wearing them. You want to consider a big moral aspect?

Every mile driven is another mile over the global oil peak, on the yonder side of which lies the utter end of civilization because too many stupid fuckers didn't have the foresight to develop wind power and compressed air energy storage. We really do need to get ourselves some real perspectives regarding these issues!

by blues 2007-04-20 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

"...he didn't believe in stupid limits on individual freedom."

You know what? Wearing a seatbelt is not a stupid limit on individual freedom. I really hope I misunderstood what you were referring to there, because that is about the most idiotic thing I have read in the last week.

by MNPundit 2007-04-20 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

I was referring to the drinking age.

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-20 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

Yeah the drinking age is bullshit.  Otherwise, then raise draft ages, enlistment ages and legal adulthood to 21.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-20 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

I have to disagree with you on the drinking age being a 'stupid limit of personal freedom.'  Like the seatbelt law, it's about highway safety, hence the federal demand that states raise the drinking age in order to get highway money.  That was based on studies of teenage drinking and driving.

I didn't see your post until after I knew they had taken Corzine off the ventilator (around 6:15 yesterday according to the time recorded on my blue jersey comment), so I also found your diary somewhat like a eulogy towards the end, but I have to say I was thinking along those lines yesterday too after reading the Pinky story.  I do think the doctors and Corzine's staff have been unfailingly upbeat, which I expressed gratitude for yesterday after starting to worry once I read the more downbeat assessment.  I noticed that his staff didn't issue the press release until 5pm, when he had been taken off the ventilator at 12:25pm, so that was plenty of time to comtemplate the Pinky scenarios.  

I disagree with those who are saying his injuries aren't serious.  He's still not out of the woods.

Thanks for the campaign insight.  I'll share my stories of buttonholing him on the way out of crowded campaign events, similar to Rosi's, another time.

by kwilkinson 2007-04-21 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

91 mph is a bit high way higher than the courtesy speed of 70-75 normally ok on the garden state, his seatbelt use should be his own choice but thiers no excuse for going that fast on a New Jersey road.

by nevadadem 2007-04-20 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

Great post Matt.

by drowsy 2007-04-20 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

If you look at Jon Corzine's whole life and what he was trying to accomplish, not wearing a seat belt is the least of the things we should be concerned about, especially since he and no one else was seriously injured.

What strikes me is that he cared enough about trying to help out in the Imus mess to risk his life by not paying attention to how fast the vehicle was going. It was a calculated risk probably much like many calculated risks that a complex man caught in many cross-fires would incur.

Don't many of us juggle a whole bunch of things at a time and take risks to accomplish our goals all the while hoping and praying that things don't fall apart in the process? When they do, we realize just how far out on the limb we have been living our lives. Fortunately, Jon Corzine has accomplished a great deal in his life, a man of courage and vision. To miss the grandeur of this forest through a few fallen trees would be regrettable.

by Nancy Bordier 2007-04-20 07:08PM | 0 recs
Thanks for that, and a note on the pessimist

Now that we've learned that the Governor is off his ventilator, there's basically nothing in the Inquirer article that suggests we should be any more concerned than the doctors are telling us to be.

A flail chest is not fun, but if his lungs are working fine then it's clearly not a huge problem.

Tubes draining fluid sounds bad, but if you're on blood thinners to begin with, it doesn't exactly connote a great deal of damage (depending on how big the tubes are and how much blood thinner is being applied).

The risk of paralysis is really scary! but it's what might happen if the doctors had done something they didn't do (put the anesthetic near the spine). They've made a routine and safe change to the anesthesiologist's routine on account of the blood thinners, and the only risk the author seems to be worried about is an overdose.

The rest is hand-wringing over the duration of dependence on the ventilator, which is now moot.

Long story short, I'm glad the author is making a relative mountain out of a relative mole-hill, and I wish the Governor a safe and speedy recovery.

by msnook 2007-04-20 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

As a California resident, my day to day knowledge of Corzine is limited but I have always found him interesting.  Is he our version of Bloomberg?

Can you comment on his abilities as a retail politician? Does he have Presidential ambitions?  Why did he go with Clinton so early- is there a Bill connection?  And finally, is it true that many current Goldman people have gone to Obama?  

by mboehm 2007-04-20 10:56PM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

No, he's not Bloomberg, he's a liberal Democrat.

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-21 05:07AM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

I know, but he is an unusual liberal Democrat.  He is not a populist and is not really partisan.  He (University of Chicago MBA) seems to think and govern like Bloomberg (Harvard MBA) but with a left tilt whereas Bloomberg has a right tilt (I am a Northwestern MBA with a left tilt).  Once they committed to public service, both were willing to spend whatever it takes out of their personal fortunes to get elected.  Both have somewhat redeemed the reputation of MBA's in high government after the disastrous Bush administration (Harvard MBA).  This is probably because they are each much more talented than the limited and insecure Bush.    

by mboehm 2007-04-21 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

True, Corzine and Bloomberg definitely bring up the reputation of the MBA, but as you said, Bush has an MBA on paper only.  Corzine ran Goldman Sachs during it's largest growth period in history.  I'm an employee, so I have a respect for him, but you have to understand that while he was pushed out via powerplay, the guy, along with Robert Rubin before him and Paulson after him, basically helped give Goldman the colossal reputation it has today.  Bloomberg completely overhauled Wall Street.  There isn't one employee in an investment bank today that doesn't use his application and network.  The information that he makes available added a transparency to the Street that didn't exist before.

Bush ran a few oil companies into the ground and owned a baseball team.  Corzine and Bloomberg redefined the industries in which they were leaders.  It really goes to show that a leader isn't defined by his education but by his effect on the world in which he rules.

by Conquest 2007-04-21 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine

Regardless of the way things turnout for the Governor, 2009 was going to be competetive anyway. And the republicans are going to have a viable candidate to try to win this state. Corzine's mediocre approvals weren't that strong enough to fend off a strong challenger.

by olawakandi 2007-04-21 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: On Jon Corzine
While as a fellow New Jersey resident I truly wish our governor good health and a speedy recovery, I take issue with Mr Stoller's article. In particular his statement "Corzine wasn't a lawbreaker, but, like with the drinking age, he didn't believe in stupid limits on individual freedom."
Well if that statement is true, I call on our governor to apologize for being a hypocrite by introducing bills and touting laws to make seatbelt use legally mandated nationwide. If he truly has the courage and conviction he should call for a repeal of the seatbelt laws, helmet laws, kneepad laws, smoking laws and others like them which limit our personal freedoms. He should advocate a platform of "educate, don't legislate". Sure seatbelts save lives, but so do many other things including good diet, exercise, proper attire, etc.  It's not the business of elected government to run our personal lives or be our nanny.  Show us you have the courage, Governor, to avoid what's politically correct and do the right thing to restore personal freedom and responsibility here in New Jersey.
by NJOppressed 2007-05-06 10:17AM | 0 recs

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