Singh’s Leadership Role Models Include Aristotle and Alexander the Great and Other Guv Forum Tidbits


ATLANTIC CITY – Linwood engineer Hirsh Singh oddly (by New Jersey standards) elevated the standards of conversation when he cited a character deficit in sitting Governor Chris Christie and subsequently answered InsiderNJ’s question about those leaders he admires. In his one-two punch reply, Singh, a Republican candidate for governor, turned to the ancient Greeks, listing two of his favorite leaders of all time as classical philosopher Aristotle and his pupil, Alexander the Great.

Singh wasn’t the only candidate of the afternoon at the New Jersey Transportation Transaction Conference who invoked the past – with a sprinkling of literary attentiveness. Jim Johnson of Montclair, undersecretary of the Treasury Department in the administration of President Bill Clinton, fielded an InsiderNJ question about what he learned about leadership from Clinton. The Democratic candidate for governor proceeded to tell a story about seeing Clinton catch the eye of a history book in the hands of a staffer and engaging the reader in a detail-intensive discussion about another another of the volumes in the same history series. The episode proved Clinton’s voracious intellectual curiosity, Johnson said.

InsiderNJ later asked Johnson if he could identify the greatest moral challenge of our times, and the candidate said fear of the other, a fear of those people who are unlike ourselves.

In his time onstage, Nutley Commissioner Steve Rogers identified himself as a candidate for governor who has experience in elected office – but who is not a career politician, using that distinction to separate himself from veteran lawmakers like state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20) and Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) on the one hand, and businessman Joe Rullo and retired Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy on the other.

For his part, Wisniewski argued that his experience under the Gold Dome is an asset. When InsiderNJ noted that he has spent much of his career in the Democratic Party establishment, the assemblyman said he fought Democratic Governor Jon Corzine’s asset monetization plan. To those who might identify Wisniewski – chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee – as a culprit in New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure crisis, the candidate noted that he didn’t have spending authority.

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