NJ Gov. Chris Christie has become a complete wuss. There, I said it.
I don’t care that he scheduled a special election for this year to fill the senate seat left vacant by the passing of Sen. Frank Lautenberg instead of appointing someone to hold the seat through the Nov. 2014 elections. But here is where he has proven himself to be such a wimp.
First, Christie scheduled the special election for October 2013 at a cost of $24 million. Had he waited just another month, he could have scheduled it to coincide with the Nov. 2013 general elections when he is on the ballot for governor and members of the NJ legislature are up. One can only guess that he was concerned that a strong campaign effort in the senate race might hurt his own reelection prospects. I guess in his mind that is worth the extra $24 million in taxpayer dollars.
Second, Christie is apparently leaving the seat vacant until the special election, saying that he didn’t feel that it was his job to put someone in the seat not elected by the people. That is a total cop out. That IS part of his job. (In fact, that is exactly how the entire U.S. Senate was comprised until about 100 years ago.) At least put in place a caretaker senator who won’t run in the special election so his state has full representation in the Senate. He could easily tap former NJ Gov. Tom Kean for the 4-month gig. Steve Forbes, Dick Zimmer, or even Christie Todd Whitman would all make good caretakers for the next couple months until a permanent replacement is elected. (I’d even suggest a notable NJ Democrat if he can find one that isn’t in jail, under indictment, being investigated or tarred by scandal, so that leaves out Jon Corzine, Bob Torricelli and Jim Florio.)