Friday, May 4, 2012

On the Homefront: Bill Clinton Crosses the Delaware

Having secured victories in the primaries for Hillary Clinton supporters Kathleen Kane,  for Attorney General,  and Mark Critz, for 12th District Rep,  in Pennsylvania late last month,  former president Bill Clinton has set his sights on the New Jersey June 5 primary endorsing Bill Pascrell, another HRC loyalist,  for the recently redrawn  9th District in New Jersey.  Pascrell, who has served the 8th District since 1997, is in a battle with current 9th District Rep Steve Rothman who supported Obama in the hotly contested 2008 presidential primary.
Bill Pascrell
After the dust settled in 2008, WJC promised to support those who had remained staunchly loyal to Hillary, and has been as good as his word.   Although never given the attention the divide in the Republican party receives,  the schism in the Democratic Party, engendered by what many felt was unfair treatment of Hillary Clinton delegate assignments by the Rules and Bylaws Committee on May 31, 2008, as well as by the convention itself in late August of that year which ended with a roll call that was aborted when Hillary herself appeared on the convention floor requesting Obama's nomination by acclamation, has not healed in the way that the party and the media portray.
The victories in PA are seen as clear endorsement of the Clinton wing of the party.  As the battle crosses the Delaware, Clinton Dems in north-eastern NJ are gearing up to fight the Rothman forces.  Pascrell, a past NJ Assemblyman and former mayor of Paterson has a strong following.  Unlike the 2008 contest,  the 2012 primary theater plays out downticket where the Clinton wing of the party is alive and fierce.

Bill Clinton endorses Bill Pascrell over Steve Rothman in Congressional race

Published: Friday, May 04, 2012, 12:30 PM     Updated: Friday, May 04, 2012, 12:35 PM
Matt Friedman/Statehouse Bureau By Matt Friedman/Statehouse Bureau

AFP PHOTO/Robyn BeckFormer President Bill Clinton threw his support behind Rep. BIll Pascrell in his primary battle against Steve Rothman.

Former President Bill Clinton today endorsed U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8th District), who’s locked in a tight primary against fellow incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9th Dist).
Pascrell endorsed Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, while Rothman was President Obama’s highest profile New Jersey supporter.
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Lesson: Never count a Clinton out.  Obama may be at the top of the ticket, but some of these primary battles can turn out to be death-by-a-thousand-cuts to those who scorned  HRC in favor of the inspirational half-term senator from Illinois four years ago.   Some Dems will dutifully campaign and vote for the Clinton loyalists.  Many will also be writing in Hillary at the top of the ticket.