Welcome Governor Corzine
I arranged my morning so that I would be near a television today at 12 noon. I would have liked to actually been present at today's inauguration of Jon Corzine as the 54th Governor of New Jersey. We are for the most part a progressive state and we have nominated a progressive man to be our governor. I worked a bit on Corzine's campaign and went from being very enthusiastic about him and his nomination to being a bit cynical and less than enthusiastic by the end of the campaign. It was not a pleasant campaign! However, watching him this afternoon, as the various parts of the ceremony took place, I remembered what I liked about him from the beginning.
Jon Corzine strikes me as a sincere, friendly and "regular" guy. I actually found myself relating personally to this man who has been chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, one of the world's oldest and most prestigious investment banks and Senator of my state of New Jersey. He stood there on the platform looking a little confused and unsure of exactly what it was he was supposed to do. After he took the pledge of office and his mother and children went to sit down, he threw them a kiss. He offered thanks and gratitude to the outgoing acting governor, Richard Codey, and gave all the time that was needed for the audience to rightfully and respectfully applaud and show their gratitude to Codey. I think for all his accomplishments, Jon Corzine is a humble person and I truly believe that he will do the job of Governor, not only to the best of his ability, but with some degree of humility and in his own words, he will do his best for everyone in the state. There is a lot to overcome in this state, regarding corruption and I think he may be the man to do it. At least I hope so. Corzine quoted Woodrow Wilson (both Governor of NJ and President of the US) in saying, "If you think too much about being reelected, it is very difficult to be worth reelecting." If he just sticks to that, he will be OK.
Finally, I remember what it was that most drew me to Jon Corzine and his candidacy for Governor. He was one of very few Senators who stood up and spoke out for Darfur and the people there who are experiencing "hell on earth." He, along with Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) stood up and proposed the Darfur Accountability Act, providing the tools and authorities to end the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. I heard then Senator Corzine speak at an American Jewish Committee conference in Washington, DC in March of 2005, and could see his distress when speaking of his convictions about Darfur and how little attention the issue got in the United States Congress. I am sure now Governor Corzine will do what he can as governor to help in the Darfur cause. Hopefully he will lead the way to divesting New Jersey of any financial interests with the Sudan. To me Corzine has shown himself as a compassionate man and for me that speaks volumes.
There were a few things during the inauguration that troubled or befuddled me. Before the ceremony started, the camera panned the participants sitting on the dais behind the podium. There were past governors and present legislators, both federal and state. I saw Senator Frank Lautenberg and found myself quizzically wondering where is the other senator, Corzine? DUH!!!!
Then after Corzine took the Oath of Office, the cameras went outside to show the 19 gun salute. Now this is something I just don't understand. What is that all about? How is a person "saluted" by shooting off a machine that kills, in this case, 19 cannons, to boot? If someone could explain that to me, I'd be much obliged.
Still, when all was said and done, I was moved by the inauguration as a whole and I am leaving any cynicism I may have had at the back door. It is my fervent hope that it does not come a'knockin. I give my trust to Governor Corzine. But, I will be watching closely.