Opinion

Will big Dem. donations to Gov. Christie affect his pick for NJ Senator?

Things are getting really weird in the Garden State with all this best-buds, palsy-walsy, cozying up between our Democratic president, Barack Obama and the Republican governor of New Jersey Chris Christie. Now even major Democratic donors — including George Soros, the Prince of Darkness himself — are contributing to Christie’s re-election campaign against Democrat Barbara Buono.

Christie-Obama
Christie and Obama, best buds forever. But where will it lead? Photo credit: www.usnews.com

It all started when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Jersey Shore shortly before the presidential election and Christie not only welcomed Obama with open arms, but seemed to cling to him like a life preserver. Although I thought it a bit unseemly at the time, it was also understandable to a degree — the governor was thinking of his state.

But then the Twilight Zone music began playing in my brain when, on May 25, the president renewed his bromance with Christie by flying out for a day of man-hugs, photo-ops and arcade games. Christie returned the gesture by winning a teddy bear for Obama at a boardwalk football toss game according to NJ.com. The president totally snubbed Democrat gubernatorial candidate Buono.

Now the Twilight Zone theme song has become deafening. Donations from major liberal Democratic donors across the country are pouring in to support Christie’s re-election efforts against his Democratic opponent.

The Star-Ledger’s Salvador Rizzo wrote:

The checks are flying into the Republican governor’s war chest from all sorts of unlikely places — the hedge fund run by liberal billionaire George Soros, for example, and the politically progressive halls of the University of California, Berkeley.

Rizzo referred to the donations as “an early sign of Christie’s fundraising prowess.” That the donors also followed the president’s lead in the matter, I have little doubt. But over and above this, something new may be at play here.

Monday marked the death of longtime Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, and Christie gets to appoint an interim successor.

If he appoint a Republican — as he should — that would mean one less Democratic vote and one more Republican vote in the Senate, which could ease the stranglehold Majority Leader Harry Reid has on that chamber during those 60-vote decisions.

On the other hand, Christie may feel compelled to ante up a quid pro quo for all the blessings that have come his way in recent months.

A year ago I would have never thought of such a thing. Today I’m not so sure.

Update: Gov. Christie announced that New Jersey will hold a special election to decide the late Sen. Lautenberg’s replacement, rather than appointing one himself. The primary has been set for Aug. 13 and the general election will be held Oct. 16, according to Fox News.

Because New Jersey is considered a blue state, it’s safe to say that its new senator will be a Democrat.

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