Yes, she was outspent 10 to 1, meaning fewer staff and fewer ads and fewer everything. Yes, the Democratic party, as she made abundantly clear in her concession speech, abandoned her. And yes, she was up against a man considered the best New Jersey politician in a generation, a national figure who will one day be a presidential candidate.
But Barbara Buono, who lost in a landslide and only garnered two-thirds of the Democratic vote, didn't help her own cause in at least nine specific ways:
1) Relationship building. Democratic sources constantly and consistently gripe that Buono never developed the relationships in Trenton needed for a statewide campaign. Here's one anecdote: Sources say they didn't see her at the funeral for the mother of the top elected Democratic in the state, Steve Sweeney, earlier this year. Christie, on the other hand, attended and stayed the whole time. Her absence -- and his presence -- were noted by party elders.
By Matt Katz
ASBURY PARK — Gov. Christie, who wooed New Jersey with candor, humor and gruffness and then cemented broad support with a willingness to cross party lines after Sandy, cruised to a landslide reelection victory Tuesday on the way to what his constituents believe is an inevitable campaign for the presidency in 2016.
Moments after CNN called the race just after 8 pm, a roar went up from the crowd at the historic Asbury Park Convention Hall, where the Christie victory celebration is taking place.
But that seemingly insurmountable lead didn't stop a feisty pro-Buono teacher from confronting the governor after a campaign event Saturday down the Shore in Somers Point. And it didn't stop Christie from an apparently feisty response.
Unfortunately, no video or audio of the incident has surfaced. But the picture, above, tells at least part of the story, and that's this: With First Lady Mary Pat Christie smiling wide next to him, the governor yelled at a constituent.
This story ran in Sunday's Inquirer.
NEWARK, N.J. - To begin his last full week before Election Day, Gov. Christie sat in the front row at a ceremony honoring the semiretired Democratic political leader of Essex County, Steve Adubato Sr. He made a joke about Adubato's alleged corruption, he said the 80-year-old reminded him of his late mother, and he lifted the veil from a large bronze statue depicting Adubato seated on a bench.
The moment epitomized Christie's reelection campaign - and the years leading up to it.
A forthcoming book with excerpts released over the last 48 hours is technically about the 2012 presidential election, but it is the tidbits about Gov. Christie -- who wasn't even a candidate in the race -- that are drawing the most attention during this weekend before his gubernatorial race.
The Christie camp is refuting the general thrust of the book, "Double Down," by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (a follow-up to the best-seller "Game Change" about the 2012 race). It frames Christie as an egocentric politician with lavish lifestyle requirements and a tendency to be late to events. Mitt Romney appears to be depicted worse, especially when he reportedly makes fun of Christie's weight.
“It’s all just about trying to sell as many books as possible,” the governor said Friday, according to the Star-Ledger. “I’ll read it when it comes out, and if I have anything more to say then, I’ll let you know.”
Full report in Friday's Inquirer, here.
In one anecdote told to a raptured wall-to-wall crowd at the Gloucester County Republican headquarters today, Gov. Christie touched on three reasons for his tremendous lead in his re-election campaign: He appeals to Democratic constituencies, he is admired for his leadership after Sandy, and he is blunt enough to curse (twice) during a speech.
Christie recounted to the audience at the headquarters in Washington Township about how an 82-year-old African American woman from Newark, Gladys, recently told him that she didn’t vote for him in 2009. But she has since changed her mind, Christie said, because of his work in the aftermath of Sandy.
This story ran in Sunday's Inquirer.
TRENTON - Gov. Christie is over it. He doesn't care anymore. But for the record: It was not a "hug."
"It was a handshake like you would shake hands with anyone," he told the Inquirer. "It was a perfectly natural, casual, normal type of greeting between two people. And you know, it's become legend."