Did Obama try to have Corzine replaced?
by Steve M, Thu Nov 05, 2009 at 10:48:27 AM EST
Our friends at Blue Jersey point to a breaking story suggesting the White House made inquiries about replacing the unpopular Governor Corzine on the ticket with NJ Senate President Richard Codey, one of the few well-liked Dems in the state:
Codey says the White House showed him internal polling that he held a lead over Christie and wanted to know if he'd run:
"I told [White House political director Patrick] Gaspard I was going to be seeing Mr. Corzine in Trenton. I told him I felt duty-bound in terms of being a gentleman to tell Corzine. I sat with Corzine. I told him what I knew. I said 'as a friend, I just wanted you to know.' I said 'bottom line is you're the decision-maker. You want out, just do me a favor let me know as soon as possible. If you're going to stay in there, I'm with you.'"
"I did not hear back from the White House."
Codey said Gaspard detailed an internal poll that showed Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone about the same as Corzine, but Codey leading Christie by double digits.
Corzine had apparently told the White House he was thinking of getting out of the race:
Corzine privately mused to the White House he was having second thoughts about continuing his campaign, Codey said.
"He was, mentally, as low as you can get," Codey said of Corzine, even before July 23. "Then this ... hit. It was understandable he was having a moment where he was saying `to hell with this.'"
Replacing unpopular Democrats on the ballot is, of course, a time-honored New Jersey tradition, so the story seems quite plausible.
Seems to me like perfectly appropriate behavior on the part of the White House, not to mention a sign that they're engaged with the state-level races and looking for a way to keep states blue. Reading between the lines, it sounds like everyone decided to let Corzine make the final call, and he must have decided to stay in the race. What's your reaction?