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An interesting "what if"

My erstwhile neighbor and congressman is now my junior senator, as of yesterday. He was appointed by Jon Corzine to backfill the seat Corzine himself vacated after being sworn in as governor.

The timing is interesting, because one of the first significant votes Menendez faces will likely be the confirmation of Alito to the Supreme Court. Menendez has hinted that he is open-minded on the issue, and does not find anyone "too conservative or too liberal."

I somehow doubt that Corzine, who opposed John Roberts, would be similarly open-minded on the issue. Anyway, wouldn't it be funny if the Democrats failed to sustain a filibuster on Alito by one vote -- Menendez's? That would mean that all my liberal New Jersey friends, by electing Jon Corzine governor, had simultaneously guaranteed Sam Alito a seat on the High Court.

Now I don't know how likely a scenario that is, but I do know what my reaction would be: a sustained bout of quiet giggling.


And I just wrote a post about how I'm kicking myself over this at Blanton's and Ashton's. You know that what I liked best about Corzine was that I could count on him to vote the way I personally would.

You don't know your liberal friends very well, Barry. You should see what we were writing about Menendez at Bluejersey.net. We did not want him in the Senate for a variety of reasons, not the least of which were that he wasn't a progressive. Your liberal friends are smarter than you give them credit for. We knew what we were getting. We didn't want it. Most of us were hoping for Rush Holt or Frank Pallone to get the nod, with Nia Gill from the State Senate also receiving a lot of attention. You could argue that the folks at Bluejersey.net aren't your friends, but that's just 'cause they don't know ya.

As a side note, one of Menendez's staffers, I think it was his communications guy but I really don't remember who it was (and I'm too lazy to look it up) actually went onto Bluejersey.net and argued for Menendez. He was allowed to post his own front-page diary there, too, to support his case. Not only was Menendez unpopular with the liberals, but he knew it and had to address it. His staff guy didn't actually change anyone's mind, though.

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