"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Monday, June 05, 2006

Will Herb Jackson’s "News" Hurt Kean As Intended?

This is what now passes as a news article as opposed to an opinion piece in the Bergen Record. Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson writes:

The conventional wisdom says that Ridgewood conservative John Ginty's low-budget battle for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination could end up causing long-term damage to the favorite, Thomas Kean Jr., if Kean wins Tuesday's primary.
With Menendez' Senate approval rating at 39% and the latest Rasmussen poll showing Kean 40% - Menendez (D) 37% is Jackson basing this “news ” on conventional wisdom or the hope of Jackson, Democrats and Menendez?

A few even argue that the primary fight, which Republicans had been hoping to avoid at the beginning of the year, actually helped Kean by forcing him to get his political operation in gear faster and by highlighting his differences with some of the right wing's most controversial positions at a time when Menendez is calling Kean a rubber stamp for President Bush.

While ignoring Ginty, Kean has concentrated this spring on attacking Menendez, but some observers say the primary challenge may have led him to take more conservative positions on some issues, such as immigration.

"Kean has gone a little further to the right than I suspect he wanted to because he had to," said Rubin*. "Menendez, meanwhile, was able to stay in the center, which he might not have been able to do if Kean were running unopposed and tried to push Menendez more to the left."
Jackson has managed to work-in the Democrats’ major talking points about Kean – “right wing”, “controversial positions”, “rubber stamp”, “more conservative positions” and “further to the right” - while claiming “Menendez was able to stay in the center”. Does anyone actually believe Menendez has ever been in the “center”? Menendez is about as far left as a politician can be and has a voting record in the House and Senate to prove it.
While it makes sense to put some distance between himself and Bush because of the president's low popularity and New Jersey's more liberal electorate, Kean needs to tread carefully to avoid hurting his ability to raise money from national Republican sources, said Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University.

"If you're bashing the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, how much are they going to want to toss money your way?" Harrison asked.
The only “bashing” going on is of Tom Kean and Republicans in this hit piece. Jackson
did a great job of including the Democrats talking points, leaving out only one of their favorites – Kean is named after his father. Then again maybe Jackson considers the Republican candidate’s name a positive and purposely left it out.

Democrats hope and pray Republicans will not unite behind Tom Kean for Senate. And they hope and pray voters remain in the dark about Menendez. That’s the real news in Jackson’s story.

* Howard Rubin, a political science professor at Kean University



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