Corzine, a dilettante
spending his foutune and touting long abandoned populist pap as a face-saving way to reinvent himself after being fired by Goldman Sachs:
In 1999, when he entered politics, rank-and-file Democrats were amused to have a Wall Street mogul preaching the kind of sweeping populist programs that the party had long abandoned: universal health care, preschool and long-term care. The timing of his rapid entry into politics - just six weeks after his ouster at Goldman - led many to view him as a dilettante willing to spend a sizable chunk of his $400 million fortune as a face-saving way to reinvent himself
Democrats call Jon Corzine a left-wing idealist
and question his judgment and ability
Since leaving Wall Street for Washington, Mr. Corzine has exhibited a similar blend of big ambition and limited political finesse.
In the United States Senate, many fellow Democrats describe him as a determined left-wing idealist who took on important causes but achieved only modest success.
Over all, he has a reputation for making fearless and sometimes ill-considered moves. Some have said that one of those moves was deciding to leave the Senate and run for governor after forgiving a $470,000 mortgage loan he had made to the head of the state's most powerful union, a woman with whom he was once romantically involved. That has led even fellow Democrats to question Mr. Corzine's judgment.
Jon Corzine doled out millions to party leaders and interest groups
standing in the way of solving New Jersey’s property tax and budget crises:
Mr. Corzine poured $63 million of his own money into the race, and then doled out millions more to party leaders and interest groups.
Whoever is elected New Jersey's next governor faces an array of difficult problems. Years of myopic fiscal management have left New Jersey's bond rating downgraded, its treasury depleted and its transportation trust fund nearly bankrupt, with ballooning pension costs ahead. The child welfare system remains deeply flawed, even after expensive attempts to fix it.
Property taxes are among the highest in the nation. And from tiny villages to the highest levels of state government, a wearying collection of corruption scandals has shaken New Jersey residents' confidence in government.
Solving these problems requires a powerful governor willing to take on a state legislature controlled by a handful of Democratic Party bosses whose political machines are fueled by their ability to extract patronage jobs and contracts from state government.
Republicans portray Mr. Corzine as an essential part of that machine, giving millions of dollars in contributions to the bosses in exchange for their support, a man who would be beholden to them if he is elected governor.
Even Carla Katz doesn’t think Jon Corzine understands what it takes to be Governor
of New Jersey:
Carla Katz, the union leader to whom Mr. Corzine gave the mortgage when they were dating two years ago, said that she admired his tenacity and commitment to those in need but that for all of his experience in business and politics, he underestimates the complexities of New Jersey's governor's office, which is widely considered the most powerful in the nation.
"Even though he believes that being a governor is stylistically more like being a C.E.O. than being senator is, it's not," said Ms. Katz, a labor lobbyist in Trenton for 20 years.