It still had the look of All the President’s Men, if not the feel, which is to say the arguable degeneration of society since the 1970s created now the sensation of flatness, as if a film – a Hollywood movie, no less – from 40 years ago contained more substance than life itself, or than the strain of the city to transmit something more than simply the sensation of surface.
The train disgorged, and soon the tramping minions of New Jersey could be seen in the vicinity of Union Station, like an army of motley in the streets.
A year ago, InsiderNJ witnessed a pair of New Jersey insiders overcorrecting to convey the complete caricatures of New Jerseyans on foreign soil, as if D.C, were sufficiently separate from Jersey as to create the necessity of pure boorishness.
But this time, it was sedate.
The mood of the whole event to this point was sedate.
There was only the gentle gnawing away at the Murphy Administration.
“The kids over there…” was a common conversational starting point.
“What you have to understand,” someone else said, “is the kids over there think winning that campaign [a shrugging and mugging accompanied the remark] amounted to something real. Of course, it didn’t. I am sorry, Kim Guadagno was not a real candidate.
“Christie sank her,” the source added. “And those guys – those confused kids over there – think they really accomplished something, and that’s the attitude that’s trickled into the administration over there, and no one has any patience for it. Let’s put it this way, there are a lot of rolled eyes.”
The doors to the Dubliner opened and it was packed.
GOP operative Chris Russell nursed a drink at the bar with Democratic operative Sean Kennedy, who nursed his own drink as they jawed.
Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie commanded a throne near the door and sat in jovial elegance while passersby kissed the king.
Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35) passed by.
So did Mikie Sherrill.
Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) arrived with an entourage.
State Senator Declan O’Sanlan (R-13) held court with a few young GOP types and others, a fount of goodwill in the crowded room.
Soon they would all relocate over at the Marriot for speeches: Governor Phil Murphy, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Bob Menendez.
The city at large seemed to be basically uninterrupted by New Jersey.