Ideas, idle gossip, and occasionally important odds ’n’ ends….by Jack Wright
~National politics have no place in this column — we typically stick to the frustrating, mud-slinging local variety — but one of the highlights of my Fourth of July weekend featured a politician who has a healthy national profile but whose job it is to serve the good people of New Jersey. I’m referring to Senator Cory Booker, who stood in the garden of Curtis Bashaw’s beachfront home on Saturday morning during a fundraiser for his re-election campaign and delivered a speech layered with the most inspiring words I’ve heard from a politician since a certain senator from Illinois gave me goosebumps, although that seems like SUCH a long time ago.
Unlike the other senator from New Jersey, Robert Menendez, Senator Booker seems genuinely engaged with the southern part of the state — I’ve known of three Booker visits in the last year, whereas Menendez, to my knowledge, has been here maybe once in eight years. Senator Booker seems particularly taken with Cape May, and we won’t hold that against him, will we?
On Saturday he talked about his quickly gained affection for America’s Original Seaside Resort, which he had known little about until he set foot here; he spoke beautifully about the American dream; and he revealed his big wish — that for a year, every senator would forget their party affiliations and make decisions based on common sense, logic and good research. Imagine how different things would turn out, he said. Imagine…
I was one of the sponsors of Saturday’s fundraiser, along with Curtis and the owners of the Whale’s Tale, Chuck and Hilary Pritchard. It’s the first time I’ve ever given money to a politician and I did it because Cory Booker doesn’t seem like your average politician, and I really hope I’m never proved wrong on this instinct. I will continue to dream that other politicians may follow his lead — and Booker does have influence. For an NJ senator he doesn’t half get around. He’s been traveling the length and width of the country helping to support fellow Democrats involved in Senate campaigns, and then there is the matter of those 1.4 million followers on Twitter.
One of the people who asked a question of Booker on Saturday was our own Shaine Meier, who will be running for a seat on city council in November. I trust that Shaine listened closely to this masterly performance, and I hope it serves him well during his Cape May campaign because, lordy, does Cape May City Council badly need new blood.
~Ah, those Cape May fireworks. The most on-off affair since Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. (If you’re too young to get this, look it up). It’s easy (and always tempting) to blame someone when matters go so awry, and when so many people are disappointed. But I think we just have to chalk this one up to pure bad luck and some unpredictable weather. I hope and trust you still had a memorable holiday weekend.
BIRD IS THE WORD, created by Rosemary Dery