In the old World War II movies you could always count on two things: the bad guys getting sprayed by submachine gun fire, and the inevitable presence of some B actor playing the part of a hard-nosed GI from Bayonne.
Not much has really changed, only now those same local maritime American types are pitted against each other ahead of next year’s local election, one that two-time Mayor Jimmy Davis wants to win.
Trying to keep things afloat in a somewhat downbeat election cycle, in which Governor Phil Murphy’s political team engenders about as much goodwill as the Ernest Borgnine and Robert Webber characters in The Dirty Dozen, Davis tonight played the crusty Lee Marvin part at a barbecue that had his detractors howling from afar.
The pictures show a less than robust “crowd” of Bayonne types in supposed party mode ahead of the Nov. 2nd election.
“Grim,” was the word supplied by one disillusioned Davis GI.
“Desultory” might have also come to mind.
But the mayor said most of those who received invitations attended. Eighty-seven to 90 out of 102 Democratic committee members, he noted, among them the mayor’s candidate for the assembly in LD31: longshoreman William Sampson IV (pictured, above center, with the mayor, right).
“It was just a thank you to committee people,” said Davis, whose local political apparatus is preparing to get in the trenches for Murphy.
The mayor’s best argument for the incumbent Democratic governor?
“A lot of people are looking at the pandemic and everybody feels the governor handled the pandemic well,” he said.
Still, the same rugged little town that produced those war movie stereotypes seems less than galvanized for a former Goldman Sachs guy who in 2017 bragged that he once washed dishes.
A source confessed that Bayonne has to protect itself against falling asleep.
“We don’t want this to turn into another Corzine,” a source said, in reference to the party machine deciding it didn’t care if the Democrat running for reelection won or lost in 2009. Granted, the situation is different. Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie imposed his fearsome will on the Democratic Party, while this year’s GOP nominee, Jack Ciattarelli, gives off a comparatively Donald-Sutherland-as-a-general vibe.
He’s not scary to Democrats, like Christie.
But there’s a little something for enough people on this year’s ballot, Davis insisted.
If they don’t feel motivated by the governor’s race, there’s always a school board contest.
Sometimes, even in Bayonne, not everything is a fight behind enemy lines, with John Cassavetes screaming “We made it!” just before he slumps over in the halftrack.
But it might be a different story come 2022 with Davis on the ballot.