Silva: No joke

Set aside, for a moment, Milly Silva's spotty personal voting record, slender professional resume and non-existent  political experience.

In selecting this heretofore obscure labor union executive as her running mate, Democrat Barbara Buono appears to have given her honorable but so-far uninspiring campaign to unseat Chris Christie an energy shot.

Stepping from behind the podium and going off mic at a Willingboro, NJ senior center Tuesday, Buono worked the room like a pro. But in that thoroughly Democratic township, the state Senator from Middlesex County had little to prove. Unlike the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, who did.

Christie-ites are pooh-poohing her candidacy and pundits are pronouncing it laughable, but Silva, a Bronx native and mother of three, didn't wither in the 'boro.  Until she graciously handed the spotlight back to Buono (at precisely the right moment), Silva  pretty much stole it, mixing bits of a potent personal narrative with deft hits against the Republican incumbent.

If Silva's excuse for not voting in recent elections -- something about being too busy bringing disabled elderly people to the polls to cast a ballot herself -- was less than captivating, her presence nevertheless impressed. Silva looked like a raw, but real, political talent.