October 1, 2002
ADDING INSULT TO INJURY:
Ex-Senator Named Torricelli Fill-In
(JOHN P. McALPIN, 10/01/02, Associated Press)
Desperate to keep their single-seat majority in the Senate, Democrats chose former Sen. Frank Lautenberg Tuesday to replace scandal-tainted Sen. Robert Torricelli on the November ballot. [...]
Lautenberg's selection as the potential Democratic savior is replete with irony. He and Torricelli feuded openly while serving together.
"I'm not in a gloating mode," Lautenberg said. "I don't want to be smug about this. It was unfortunate for him and an unfortunate thing for all of us."
Lautenberg is a supporter of abortion rights and staunch opponent of the death penalty.
This has to be a sweet moment for Mr. Lautenberg who reportedly left the Senate in part because he so despised his fellow Senator from NJ.
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 1, 2002 9:51 PM
Forrester needs to do the Gulf War attack first, and if he's smart he'll do it from the Hoboken waterfront with Ground Zero in the background (because TV people love compelling visuals).
Lautenberg's opinion on the death penalty is already known, so most voters already have taken that into account. Pinning him down on taking out Saddam could produce anything from a Lieberman-like support of Bush (if he's smart) to a Jim McDermott-like attack on the president as less trustworthy than Hussein -- a move that would make the war the major issue in any election (assuming the Dems figure out a way to finally get Frank on the ballot).
Don't forget the effect that this will also have on the Democratic maneuvers. Because Torricelli hates Lautenberg so much, it's very unlikely that he'll do his rival a favor by resigning, which means, in effect, that the Democrats may just have, to extend the WMD metaphor, committed unilateral disarmament. They can't cancel the election, after all, if there's a sitting senator and a candidate of their own party for same.