When the Democrats hauled him back from his retirement to replace the sinking ship known as Bob Toricelli in 2002, a lot of people were pissed off. The Republicans screamed, unsuccessfully sued, and called the maneuver a dirty rotten trick.
Because it was.
Lautenberg has served us more than honorably but his time is passed. Amid questions of McCain's age affecting his ability to serve, people have not failed to notice that Our Fair State's senior senator is a full twelve years older than the Republican presidential nominee. I'm afraid that the Dems are running Lautenberg again for the same reason they did in 2002; because voters love him and the pols are sure he can win. Lautenberg has name recognition! Lautenberg has voter loyalty! If Lautenberg's health begins to wane the party can prop him up like Strom Thurman!
I feel pandered to again. I'm a little pissed off again.
Unfortunately, the other option is worse:
(Rep. Rob) Andrews, for example, joined GOP colleagues in supporting a fence along the Mexican border; backed legislation pushed by banks and credit card companies making it more difficult for people to erase their debts through bankruptcy; supported a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning; voted for the estate tax repeal; and opposed permanent normal trade relations with China.
Andrews not only supported the (Iraq) invasion but was an author and vocal advocate of the war resolution, and attended the White House signing ceremony. In 2003, he said there was little doubt that there were chemical and biological weapons in Iraq, and predicted that the "evidence will become clear."
He began distancing himself from President Bush's war policy in the fall of 2005 as public support began to deteriorate, and in 2007 voted for a measure that would have required the president to start pulling troops out this year.
Andrews' shift on Iraq came as he was lobbying to be appointed to the Senate seat left vacant after Jon Corzine's election as governor. Corzine, with the power to name his own Senate successor, bypassed Andrews and picked Robert Menendez, then a congressman from Hudson County.
Given this for a choice, I expect that most Dems in Our Fair State will support Lautenberg, regardless of how pissed off or pandered to we feel.
Just in case it works, however, I'll be wishing on the first star I see tonight that Rush Holt will run.