November 8, 2016

POLITICS AIN'T NO THANG (self-reference alert):

Kean and Shapiro break bread (, April 28, 2013)

Trounced. Crushed. Hammered. Call it what you will, but in 1985, Gov. Tom Kean swamped his Democratic challenger, Peter Shapiro, 69.58 percent to 29.32 percent, the widest margin in a governor's race in state history.

Twenty-eight years later, Kean broke bread with Shapiro.

The Auditor was told the two men got together for dinner last month at a restaurant in Livingston in a meeting arranged by another former governor, Brendan Byrne, and his wife, Ruthi.

"We had a very enjoyable evening," Byrne told The Auditor. "They did not talk about particulars of the election or any aspect of it ... Peter has been very successful. It's the best election he's ever lost."

Kean told The Auditor he and Shapiro have remained friendly, but that this was the first time they sat down for dinner. "Peter and I are old friends," he said. "We managed to stay friends through that campaign, and we're still friends."

They'd served in the Assembly together and genuinely liked each other.  One day we were in Trenton at the State House and Peter had to use the facilities.  While he was in there, two of the Governor's aides came in discussing the campaign.  Peter popped up over the stall door and said, "Boo!," and they nearly dropped on the spot.

One of the great things about democratic politics is you can take an absolute drubbing like that one--in October 1985 the Governor hit an approval rating of 79%, bettered only by Ronald Reagan in the state--and not have it damage relationships, nevermind careers.

However today turns out, we do well to be thankful for the blessings of our system. 

Posted by at November 8, 2016 2:12 PM


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