Governor John Corzine?

NYT – McGreevey Hunkers Down, but Exit Pressure Grows

Pressure for Gov. James E. McGreevey’s immediate resignation grew on Monday as Democratic leaders and representatives of labor, environmental and other groups prepared to talk to Senator Jon S. Corzine this week to discuss his possible candidacy in a special election this fall. While others maneuvered to push him out of the State House in time for a November contest, Mr. McGreevey spent most of his day behind closed doors here, and aides and friends said he had no intention of moving soon. His aides would not say whether anyone had asked the governor to step down before his planned departure date of Nov. 15. But even those calling for him to leave now acknowledge that there will be no special election without Mr. McGreevey’s assent. And State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak said, “The more pressure they try to put on Governor McGreevey to resign, the more it will strengthen his resolve to stay.”

So, in addition to be a lying, criminal gay American, he’s also got the maturity of a 6-year-old?

Mr. McGreevey, after a weekend getaway with his wife, Dina,

Stop the tape. Stop the tape! Why has this woman not left him yet? Not only has he committed crimes to cover up his adulterous affair, totally embarrasing her and her children, but he’s GAY! What possible chance of reconciliation is there? What is she, New Jersey’s answer to Hillary Clinton?

reported to work Monday morning. He remained in his inner office through the day, then emerged from the State House about 3:30, smiled at photographers gathered in the parking lot, slipped into a black sedan and left for the governor’s mansion.

Republicans who want the opportunity to run for his seat and Democrats who want to turn it over to Senator Corzine spent the weekend scrambling for ways to get Mr. McGreevey to leave office by Sept. 3 – the last point at which, under the State Constitution, an election can be called for the Nov. 2 ballot. Otherwise, a new governor cannot be chosen until November 2005, and Senate President Richard J. Codey, a Democrat, would serve out the rest of the term, until January 2006. Mr. Corzine has told colleagues he is interested in the governor’s job, but until Mr. McGreevey’s stunning announcement on Thursday, that interest was focused on 2005. As for a run this fall, a senior Democratic official who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “Mr. Corzine has indicated that while he will not pressure Mr. McGreevey to leave, he would run if drafted by the party.”

I’m in full agreement with Steven Taylor here: there is no honorable alternative. An election that put a non-criminal Democrat into office would be the most legitimate recourse at this juncture.

Taegan Goddard has a roundup of other stories on the Corzine angle, including a report that former Gov. Tom Kean’s name is being floated as the Republican candidate.

Update (1036): A rather strange sidebar:

AP – Cipel returns to Israeli hometown

The Israeli man at the center of New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey’s resignation over a gay affair returned to his hometown today, saying he has had a “very difficult time.” The brief remarks by Golan Cipel marked the first time he has spoken in public since McGreevey resigned last week. In explaining his resignation, the married McGreevey said he is gay and had an affair with a man. Sources within the McGreevey administration named Cipel as the lover and said he had demanded millions of dollars to stay quiet. Cipel arrived at his parents’ home in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon Letzion today, wearing jeans, a blue polo shirt and track shows [shoes? -ed.].

Speaking in Hebrew, he said: “I have had a very difficult time. I have come to Israel to be with my family at this time. I cannot expand on anything for legal reasons.” Cipel declined to answer reporters’ questions. A spokeswoman, Einat Oren, said Cipel might stay for several weeks. Over the weekend, Cipel told an Israeli newspaper that he is straight and that he initially had no idea that McGreevey, his former boss, is homosexual. He told the Yediot Ahronot daily that the governor had made repeated unwanted sexual advances.

Quite odd.

Update (1126): Debra Saunders agrees with me on the issue of Dina Matos McGreevey and her bizarre insistence on clinging to the side of her erstwhile husband.

James Pinkerton, in his piece “McGreevey hides big sin, corruption,” shares my outrage that the story has somehow focused on McGreevey’s homosexuality rather than his criminality.

t was inevitable. By playing the sex card – even better, the gay-sex card – New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey bought himself some grace from the media and a bump-up in public opinion. Gubernatorial corruption places second to sexual liberation.

McGreevey, of course, stands accused of hiring an unqualified foreign national, Golan Cipel, to work in his government and then, depending on which man – McGreevey or Cipel – is to be believed, carrying on a homosexual relationship that was either consensual or non-consensual.

McGreevey announced his resignation on Thursday. But, in doing so, he sought to spin the story away from his own possible criminality and toward his own newly revealed sexuality. The magic words were, “I am a gay American.” That phrasing was reportedly worked out in conjunction with the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based gay rights group, with help from pollsters. And in private words – intended, to be sure, for public consumption – McGreevey reinforced his newfound stance as a gay victim. Newsweek chronicles McGreevey’s explaining to his staff, “I’m gay. I really think this is what it’s about.” The magazine cozily quotes an adviser saying, “You could watch a burden lift off this human being.” In other words, forget political corruption; think personal emancipation.

Because of McGreevey’s carefully tweaked and leaked words, reporters, pundits and talking heads were put on notice: All coverage of the McGreevey saga would be scrutinized through the lens of what might be called “homophobia-phobia” – opposition to any reportage that might be seen as anti-gay.

And so while the essentials of the case – abuse of power, abuse of taxpayer money – were hard to escape, much of the media nevertheless embroidered the coverage with sympathetic stitching. Newsweek called it “a human tragedy”; The New York Times, eyeing the same psychosexual pattern, called it “a tragic American narrative.” One might ask: Is there any chance that the same media outfits would find anything “tragic” in the decline and fall of Enron’s Ken Lay?

A straight American? And an evil Republican to boot? The question answers itself.

FILED UNDER: US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. In re: Dina Matos McGreevey, my wife’s comment was had it been her she wouldn’t have been standing there at the Governor’s press conference. Rather, she’d be having her own press conference.

  2. PoliBlog says:

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    They also were charged with conspiracy to commit a public nuisance by using radioactive materials, toxic gases, chemicals and/o…