Response by Rick Thigpen
More experience, more understanding for the concerns of his constituents and more willing to fight for New Jersey and, unlike his opponent, Menendez is prepared to oppose the unpopular policies of the President. Exactly what is it that makes Senator Menendez vulnerable in this race? He is a former chair of the House Democratic Caucus and is an opponent of the war in Iraq. Senator Menendez enters this race well-armed and well-prepared.
What will the Republicans do to try to convince New Jersey voters to forget their deep concern about the Republican agenda? With national concerns playing a prominent role in this race for a federal office, the Kean campaign is faced with a strategic dilemma. It seems they can't win with Bush and yet they are not prepared to win without him. Already the First Lady, as well as Vice President Cheney have been here to campaign and fundraise for Kean. So far, Tom Junior has been unwilling to stand up for New Jersey against the White House.
Attack, attack, attack--and push tax cuts too! That is what Republicans appear to be relegated to in this race. Attack to make people forget the facts. Attack to make people forget their opposition to Bush's policies. Attack to make people forget Republican neglect of New Jersey. The problem here is that the messenger is not well-suited for this message. Hopefully for Tom Kean, he never will be.
Comment by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind Academic Associate, Rick Thigpen (J.D., Columbia University Law School). Rick is a former Executive Director of the New Jersey Democratic Party and now a partner in The Strategy Group and is a campaign coordinator for the Essex County Democratic Party. Rick Thigpen, Esq. can be reached at (609) 394-0888.