"Jon Corzine is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."
Okay, Jonathan Tamari didn't use those exact words when he wrote an incredibly fawning Philadelphia Inquirer article about Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey who is running for re-election but the words he did use sure come close to that sentiment. See, Corzine's problems weren't really because he presided over a massive budget deficit.The real problem was his difficulty in proper communication...at least according to Tamari:
In his formal introduction to Trenton, his inaugural speech, Corzine read from notes, barely looking up, absorbed in his own message. Problems with communicating would come to plague his term in office.
Corzine didn't sit down with key players and didn't keep in touch via phone. His team members saw themselves as businesslike reformers dealing with a combative Legislature, even though it was run by fellow Democrats. Lawmakers saw his administration as paternalistic or, worse, arrogant.
Yes, Corzine might have a bit of a communication problem which has caused turmoil in New Jersey state government but, hey, the guy is a great family man. You can easily picture Tamari dropping to his knees while screaming, "WE ARE NOT WORTHY!!!" writing this tribute to his idol:
Corzine and the youngest of his three children went on an Aspen, Colo., getaway. But the slopes, Jeffrey Corzine recalled, were "unskiable." Yet Jon Corzine went all day, riding the toughest trails. Such determined gusto, according to his children, is typical.
Jennifer Corzine-Pisani said her father would stumble and fall, and have snow in his beard and glasses knocked askew. It wasn't always pretty, "but he always made it down the hill," she said.
Someone watching that day would have seen Corzine's approach to governing as well. Full of grit, sure of his path, and seemingly oblivious to obstacles, he has charged headlong at some of the state's trickiest issues.
Okay, so New Jersyites are facing massive financial woes due to the budgetary problems of their poorly run state government. But not to worry! What really counts is that Corzine has a heart of gold:
When he talks about education or programs for the needy, Corzine is all focus.
Corzine toured the South Jersey food bank in Pennsauken over the summer. Once the cameras stopped rolling, he took aside the food bank's chief executive, Val Traore, for a private talk.
He wanted to know who was coming in - newly unemployed people hurt by the recession or regulars who always lived on the financial edge? Did the pantry have enough storage? They spoke for 20 minutes, Traore said.
As to reports of Corzine's unpopularity, Tamari has the explanation. It was because Corzine was trying to do too much:
"...he strode into Trenton's ornate Assembly chambers with a sweeping debt-reduction plan.
But his proposal was complicated and overreaching, paying off $16 billion of debt at once, and the price tag was enormous: up to 800 percent highway toll increases.
Corzine, who had declared he was "willing to lose my job if that's necessary to put our fiscal house in order," tried to sell the plan in town-hall meetings. His 45-minute PowerPoint presentation and pie charts failed to persuade.
In less than two months, the plan was buried. Corzine's approval ratings tanked, and with the recession exacerbating his woes, his numbers have yet to recover.
Corzine conceded that he tried to do too much too fast. Several allies said he had learned that he must work with lawmakers and local interest groups.
And what of that blemish on Corzine's golden heart in the form of his attack ads mocking the weight of his Republican opponent, Chris Christie? Tamari airbrushes it out of his Corzine paean with only the very vaguest of references:
To claw back in the polls, he has used a sharp-edged campaign fueled by more than $19 million of his own money. Gone are the sweeping promises of 2005 that filled a 95-page booklet.
So even though most people outside of New Jersey know Corzine best in this campaign because of his vicious campaign commercials, Tamari only refers to this as a "sharp-edged campaign."
Despite the best efforts by Tamari to promote the kindness of Mr. Golden Heart, many Inquirer readers aren't buying it. Here are a few of their comments:
This article was paid for by the Committee to re-elect John Corzine. You may now continue with our regularly scheduled program.
The "Philadelphia Liberal Democrat" should be embarrassed that this fawning piece of sophistry and worship is even published – but you can’t shame the shameless.is this a campain ad? whats next, let me guess, an advertisement for the Piazza at the old brewery? this paper needs to go...
How much did he pay you to write this article for him? Was it prescripted or did he just provide an outline? Disgusting is what it is and obscene.