In the Face of Entrenched Power, Kim Refused to Yield

So, who thought this was a good idea?

It’s true that Tammy Murphy exited Sunday with grace, saying she didn’t want to launch campaign attacks against a fellow Democrat. She also pledged to work for the Democratic ticket this fall “up and down the ballot,” although she refrained from mentioning Andy Kim by name.

The First Lady is out of the race – two months plus before the primary and more than seven months before the general.

So now everything is neat and clean. Kim will be the party’s nominee for Senate and running in a Democratic state without any baggage or nepotism will win this fall.  All well and good.

Not really.

Just why did this ill-fated campaign come about in the first place?

The answer is both obvious and telling.

Political arrogance to the extreme.

Recall that Kim announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate soon after Bob Menendez was indicted last September.

Murphy did not get in the race until mid-November when she presented a video.

One has to think that the governor, his wife and others in his inner circle assumed that Kim would fold his tent as soon as the First Lady jumped in. As it was, she did get a string of immediate endorsements from some Democratic House members and other party leaders. Clearly, the message was – back off, Tammy is the candidate.

Then something funny happened.

Most importantly, Kim did not go away.

Then, rank and file Democrats revolted. They concluded what any sane person would have concluded regardless of political affiliation.

This just looks bad – the idea of a governor trying to make his wife a U.S. senator. In fact, it stinks.

That was the prevailing view among active Dems across New Jersey and there was nothing “Team Tammy” could do to counter it.

We know now that things got even worse.

Those sentiments led to Kim winning every county committee convention where there was a secret vote except one..

Murphy won when votes were public, or when a small group of insiders decided who to endorse.

Then there was Camden County. Murphy won, but the story was that a third candidate – Patricia Campos Medina – was not allowed into the convention. A video showed five nasty-looking men blocking her path.

That was bad enough.

What made it worse was when some media outlets asked the First Lady about the incident, she did not condemn the heavy-handed tactics of the Camden County Democrats, saying something about the rules being the rules.

That may have been the end. How out of touch can you be with average voters?

The First Lady’s departure video mentioned her support for women’s redevelopment rights, stronger gun control laws and the need to deal with a changing climate. These are standard Democratic positions, but this race – like most primaries on both sides – was not about issues.

In reading one of the immediate online comments regarding Murphy’s video, one person asked – in apparent seriousness – “Why did everybody hate her?”

No, many Democratic voters do not – and did not – “hate” Tammy Murphy.

They hated nepotism and the arrogance of power politics.

People hated the process.  And in this case, the people won.

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2 responses to “In the Face of Entrenched Power, Kim Refused to Yield”

  1. You talking about Gottheimer and Sherrill who gerrymandered, along with Gov. Murphy, Tom Malinowski out of his seat, hurting us all with a needless lost Dem House seat? Seems certain there will be a Sen. Kim. Will either be the next governor or more likely, just another House member, possibly in the minority if the election goes badly for Biden?

  2. The county bosses, did not realize how many of their own committees are upset with the “county line” system. Once Andy Kim was ousted for Tammy, the movement showed its size….

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