Gubernatorial Gutcheck: Steve Sweeney, No. 1

Below please find part one of the latest installment of gubernatorial gutcheck, a look at those politicians in both parties angling for the state’s highest office.

Next week, we’ll run the Republican version.

Of course, the list will be criticized for its lack of congress-people, but those deliberative body doyens – last seen either not running for statewide office or occupying the “roadkill” category in a U.S. Senate special election – do not appear geared-up for executive-level politics.

Steve Sweeney, Senate President

Strengths: He’s got all the chess pieces in place and the moves lined up to exact line strength statewide. Not to oversimplify, but Vinny Prieto gets speaker in exchange for “doing the right thing for New Jersey” as chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization. Ditto Paul Sarlo. Ditto Jerry Green. Of course, the Senate President starts with a certain geographical segment of the state on lockdown.

Weaknesses: There are people in this state – politicos – who dream of a world in which they never have to see the word coupling “South Jersey” again. Having taken a humiliating drubbing by that region of the state in the backrooms of power and lived under the Sweeney-Christie-DiVincenzo triumvirate, there are those who see smothering Sweeney’s gubernatorial ambitions as a way to tomahawk the giant from Gloucester County.

Prognosis: The frontrunner.  

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