MENDHAM – As Gov. Chris Christie knots his tie this morning, while enjoying a sensible and nutritious breakfast, he likely has just one thing on his mind: those damn 17,655 voters. Who are these Republicans who dared go to the polls yesterday and vote for his primary challenger - some unknown from South Jersey? What is a matter with these people, Christie asks himself, enjoying a small glass of orange juice. Sure, the Governor got 92 percent of the vote, with more than 200,000 Republicans giving him the thumb's up. But, Christie wants to know the deal with these 17,655 voters, politely declining butter on his toast. The goal, of course, was a clean sweep.
ON AIR – Barbara Buono is taking a page fresh from the Governor's playbook this morning, hitting as much early morning television as possible following her easy primary win last night. You'll see her collecting as much free media as she can, beginning at 8:10 a.m. with Fox 5's "Good Day New York" show and ending at 11:06 a.m., when she plops down with Brian Lehrer on WNYC radio.
ATLANTIC CITY – While Gov. Chris Christie plans his deep, dark revenge on those 17,655 Republican voters, don't think he's not also seething over the primary win of Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford, who scored 50 percent of the vote in an election with a stunningly low turnout. Langford lives another day, after just 1,931 voters cast ballots for him. Christie publicly considers Langford one of the worst mayors of America – someone he will be dealing with for Four More Years.
NEW YORK – If there's an ideal day for Sen. Frank Lautenberg's funeral, it would be today. Fresh off the primary election, with both sides digging in for yet another politically-charged season, all head to the Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan to pay last respects. You have the added drama of the Governor's announcement yesterday that a primary and general election will be held for Lautenberg's seat before the November general election, with some in the pews today quietly plotting who will be thrown to the wolves. All in all, plenty of simmering political intrigue – as they sit today before the master to pay homage.
NEW YORK – In a funeral befitting a king, Sen. Frank Lautenberg is to be eulogized today by Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Robert Menendez. A color guard ceremony is then planned this afternoon at the Frank Lautenberg Rail Station in Secaucus, where his casket will be put on an Amtrak train to Washington. His casket will lie in repose tomorrow in the Senate chamber, on the Lincoln Catafalque, a bier built for the coffin of Abraham Lincoln. And then, Lautenberg will be laid to rest Friday at Arlington National Cemetery, among his brethren who served in World War II.
PRINCETON – With word the merged Princetons plan to save an estimated $3 million a year through consolidation, it's hard to ignore the fact that 565 towns are still plowing along in New Jersey, trying to make ends meet through a daunting duplication of services. Today, Courage to Connect New Jersey holds its third-annual seminar on the benefits of consolidation at Princeton University, using the community as a living laboratory to show that, hey, we may be better together.
NEW BRUNSWICK – With the two gubernatorial candidates sleeping their way to easy primary wins yesterday, it may be pretty quiet at today's Eagleton Institute of Politics' "The Morning After" program, in which political scientists review the election results. Perhaps there can be a last-minute switch in the agenda to focus on the hot race for Lautenberg's seat and the political ramifications of potential winners and losers. That should keep professors jabbering for hours.
CAMDEN – It is not so newsworthy when another old, long-abandoned building crumbles into dust in Camden. But the Campbell Soup Company vows it is a good thing, as it begins intentionally demolishing the Sears Building today on Admiral Wilson Boulevard. It is all part of a grand plan to create the "Gateway District" in Camden. Whatever the redevelopment plan is, it sure sounds good to us.
EAST ORANGE – It's hard for a politician to come back from an extramarital sex scandal. Yet East Orange Mayor Robert Bowser was refusing defeat late last night, despite Lester Taylor declaring victory and a sweep of the candidate slate. The good news: Bowser can now spend more time with his wife.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1987 "Nightline" presented its first Town Hall meeting. The subject was AIDS, prompting the show to run to 3:47 a.m. And, yes, that included only a brief discussion about Ted Koppel's hair.