Michael Corleone, Hyman Roth, Tammy Murphy, and Andy Kim

To say that I am an avid fan of the movie, “The Godfather,” Parts One, Two, and Three is the greatest understatement since Henry Aaron said he thought he could hit.

Let me state my personal motto:  If it isn’t in the Torah or “The Godfather,” it isn’t worth talking about!  Both the Torah and “The Godfather” are replete with scenes and dialogue applicable to real life situations.

And there is a scene in “Godfather, Part 2” that is most applicable to the forthcoming 2024 Democratic Senatorial primary face-off between First Lady Tammy Murphy and Congressman Andy Kim.   I speak of the scene where Michael Corleone proclaims his famous line in a conversation with the Meyer Lansky-like Hyman Roth: “The soldiers are paid to fight.  The rebels are not.  The rebels can win.”

This scene is a remarkable bit of historical fiction, based loosely on the overthrow of Cuban strongman Fulgencio Batista by the rebel forces of Fidel Castro on New Year’s Eve 1958-1959.  Michael Corleone’s rebels are the Castroite rebels, and the soldiers are the forces of Batista.  The only loyalty the soldiers have to Batista is based on money.  The loyalty of the rebels is based on passion and ideological fervor.

The county Democratic chairs in the Murphy-Kim primary are the Batista soldiers.  Their loyalty to Tammy Murphy is based solely on money – the ability to get funding for their counties in the last two remaining budgets of husband Governor Phil Murphy, FY 2025 and FY 2026.  The Andy Kim rebels, whose core consists of left wing progressive, Socialist leaning Democrats are motivated by compelling passions of ideological fervor and a desire to give the Democratic establishment a bloody nose.

So the endorsements of virtually all the Democratic county chairs for Tammy Murphy matter a lot less than meets the eye.  These party luminaries care very little about the outcome of a US Senate Democratic primary.  The much ballyhooed “power of the line” does not matter nearly as much in a Senate intra-party nomination battle as in a gubernatorial primary.

The county Democratic chairs will not feel that their credibility will be at stake if Andy Kim defeats Tammy Murphy in any of their respective counties.  Accordingly, you will not see them engage in extensive and intensive get-out-the-vote efforts in the 2024 Senate Democratic primary to reinforce their endorsement and the line position as they will in the 2025 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

In a gubernatorial primary, EVERYTHING is at stake, including not only state largesse but also appointments and jobs at all levels – the mother’s milk of politics.    If a county Democratic chair endorses a losing candidate, he or she can find himself or herself out in the cold when it comes to the benefits the victorious primary victor can bestow if elected governor.   And the loss of credibility in his or her home county can lead to the loss of his or her party chair position as well.

The Kim rebels will work 24 hours a day to get him elected.  I saw a campaign like this succeed before, the 1978 Republican Senate primary where Jeff Bell upset the incumbent four term US Senator Clifford Case, largely due to the grassroots efforts of Reaganite conservatives.    And Tammy Murphy is far less strong politically than Clifford Case was in 1978.  The Public Policy Polling survey recently published shows Kim leading Tammy Murphy, 40-21.  And the Public Policy Polling survey is highly reputed, with an A- rating in the Nate Silver 538 rating of pollsters.

The Murphys are involved in an effort to establish a political dynasty without the requisites of political dynasty.  These requisites are money, plus either 1) historic achievement by the dynasty progenitor, or 2) compelling charisma.  Phil Murphy has been an above average, reasonably competent governor, but hardly one with historic accomplishment.  And compelling charisma is not a characteristic one would associate with the Murphys.

In the political arena, Phil Murphy has one remarkable skill: his supreme talent as a backroom operator, making effective, and I must say, legal use of his wealth.  In Godfather terms, however, he has run out of offers his political customers can’t refuse!

Yet there has been one moment in the Tammy Murphy campaign thus far that I will never forget.  One of her fervent politically prominent supporters compared her with Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt.  I worked with Hillary Clinton as Region 2 EPA Administrator under Bush 43 and left the Republican Party to enthusiastically support her for President in 2016.  In past columns I have described Eleanor Roosevelt as the greatest of all First Ladies.   As a passionate student of American history, I can say that any comparison of Tammy Murphy with either Hillary Clinton or Eleanor Roosevelt is at best, ludicrous hyperbole, or at worst, an odious devaluation of what these two great women were.  I also must wonder if Tammy Murphy or her most enthusiastic supporter know what “My Day” was.

Alan J. Steinberg of Highland Park served as regional administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as executive director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.

(Visited 2,174 times, 2 visits today)

13 responses to “Michael Corleone, Hyman Roth, Tammy Murphy, and Andy Kim”

  1. Tammy actually comes from a family of Mobsters.
    Uncle Louis Bernard Fine – Lawyer for Teamsters and Longshoreman, Norfolk 1950s and 1960s.

    Provided a reference for a suspect in JFK Assassination.

    Google Malcolm Jerry Hoy.

    It’s a very deep rabbit hole.

  2. Thank you! Congressman Andy Kim has the most committed, focused, and driven activists working for him. The Murphys have money, ego, and the power to influence. This is truly an epic battle…..the people Vs the machine.

    Andy’s army will convince voters to be all In For Andy Kim.

  3. And, there you have it. New Jersey doesn’t have 2 political parties. It’s either the Racketeering Democrat Party bosses under carpetbagger Gov. Phil KNUCKLEHEAD Murphy (from Masschusetts and the Irish Mob) or the Democrat-Socialists/Communists for Andy Kim.

    There is no Republican Party in New Jersey anymore. There is no sanity in NJ politics anymore. And, the taxpayers of NJ are going to get smashed and shafted by either the Democrat Mobsters or the Democrat-Socialist-Communists. It’s time for all New Jersey residents who still have significant equity in their homes, to “get out of Dodge” right now. Time to move to friendly low tax, low regulation states, or face the criminal “Green Raw Deal” that’s coming for your cars, your gas stoves, your gas washing machines, your gas hot water heaters, and the like. The Green Raw Deal electric panacea is going to be a big fail, and NJ taxpayers are going to see their taxes double in the next several years under the Democrat-Socialist-Communist construct. New Jersey will become California (Mexifornia) East.

  4. It is not “Democratic socialists” for Andy Kim. It is people who care about the quality and experience of their Senator, and resent an under-the-table insurrection by a governor to keep a third term via his wife. Tammy Murphy might as well paint her face, wear a Nordic hat and carry a spear as she tries to elbow out a qualified, uncorrupted, third term minority congressman. We won’t have it.

  5. I was surprised to see Mikkie Sherril endorse Tammy Murphy over Andy Kim, I thought she would be above that kind of political crap, I guess not. I notice she hasn’t put her endorsement up on twitter, maybe she’s embarrassed.

  6. I’m all in for Andy Kim, but the truth is that even if I wasn’t, this announcement of a former Republican governors wife to the county line REEKS of nepotism. I’m sick of power players behind the scenes, at every level, making decisions without the input of the people.

    Andy Kim is a decent, hardworking man without a hidden agenda and a proven track record and we need more people like him in Washington.

    North Jersey underestimates the grass roots activism we’ve built down here in the South. Watch us do to Tammy Murphy what we did to Tom MacArthur.

    Andy Kim is the right man for this moment.

  7. “Left wing progressives”? God forbid we want experience, intelligence, decency, and empathy in our representatives. What radicals we are!

    Tammy Murphy is a wanna be, and this is no time for on-the-job training. Andy Kim is a proven quantity, skilled at delivering for his constituents and the country. He is who New Jersey needs now.

  8. Hey Tommy Jefferson take your NAZI republican ass out of our state. Move to the paradise that is Texas where they can’t even keep the people warm and then charge them for electricity.

    The Republican party deserves to die because it is evil racist and incompetent.

  9. I think of Congressman Andy Kim as a moderate who has strong appeal to a wide spectrum of progressives and more conservative minded people too. Reason? He has a track record of listening to everyone. His calls and mail get answered, he has monthly, open town halls, and any constituent can set up
    a personal meeting with him. Can Governor Murphy’s office in which Carol Murphy is Communication Director claim the same? That’s not been my experience.

  10. Danny Boyle is clueless wonder that has to resort to name-calling to get his irrelevant points across. This is the modus operandi of the Communist Left: Name-calling, projection and gas-lighting.

    Texas was forced to put in solar and wind, which failed miserably in 2 ice storms. Showed the world that the Democrat-Socialist plan for “Green Energy” (e.g., solar and wind) doesn’t work and will never work. Texas is the biggest oil producing state, but because of Democrats in D.C. trying to shut down the oil and coal industry, states like Texas were compromised by the Democrat-Socialists. Texas got Federal aid from the Biden Administration for a declared emergency. So, the Feds knew that they had screwed up with “Green Energy”, and had to make good with Texas, since Texas sends a large chunk of change to D.C. every year. Texas sent $341 BILLION to D.C. and received only $62 BILLION (or 20%) back in 2022. New Jersey was dead last getting back about $35 BILLION. Why is that? Because the NJ Congressional Delegation and our 2 U.S. Senators are poor negotiators and business people that should be able to get back more than we pay D.C. to blow our money on every pet project (over $2 TRILLION) and giving money to our enemies (OVER $500 BILLION with Ukraine & Israel getting the bulk right now; and Red China getting a good portion of approximately $500 BILLION also from our Democrat-Communists in Congress and the White House).

  11. Politics as usual NJ style. Wanna buy an office? Just open your well funded checkbook (from all those lucrative investments) as sure as heck they’ll be right there endorsing you, with their outstretched hands. Qualifications! You must be kidding! This is NEW jersey

  12. Tammy Murphy is supported by unelected political bosses and would represent them.

    Andy Kim is supported by the people and has demonstrated that he will represent them – regardless of their political party.

  13. There are decent Republicans. I voted for Clifford Case. It’s been all Democrats ever since.

    The name-calling “Thomas Jefferson” isn’t one of them. The way he rants, he must live in my district.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape