I wasn’t going to watch McGreevey’s Comeback Mountain Tour inagural in the Oprah show, but decided to after pondering Mr. Snitch’s comment
Funny thing, I was thinking just the other day that McGreevey was positioning himself to take over Menendez’ Senate run, as the lesser of two weevils.
Having watched, I think Mr. Snitch is right.
The shameful spectacle at the confessional self-help and possitive affirmationtm venue was as tawdry and ofensive as I expected, only more so: Oprah asked that he read aloud from his book a purple-prose description of a seduction scene that took place in the home (and on the bed) he shared with his wife, who happened to be in the hospital recovering from a complicated pregnancy that required hospitalization and culminated in a caesarean section which delivered a premature baby. A good interviewer would have asked,
“So what you’re saying is that you had the best sex of your life by committing adultery on your conjugal bed while your wife had just given birth prematurely to your daughter?”
Rather than call him on his immorality, Oprah, moved by the honesty of it all, listened with tears in her eyes. You could almost hear Tchaikovsky’s Theme from Romeo and Juliet in the background.
Worse yet, McGreevey went to talk about getting in touch with “his God” (I’m being kind here and assuming he’s talking of God, not any old god) and his “inner child”. Ironically, he also said,
“If you want the world to play by good rules, healthy rules like commitment or respect, then you can’t have a different set of rules for different groups of people.”
McGreevey’s new partner seems like a nice enough guy, so let’s hope Mark O’Donnell doesn’t end up in the reject heap that’s littering the road to Jim’s personal growth and political career. McGreevey will warp any principle and any concept to conform to “his own truth”. And to his political future.
Here’s what Oprah didn’t ask about:
1. Why did you name Golan Cipel state homeland security adviser when the mailbox where the anthrax letters were mailed from five years ago was less than a mile away from the governor’s mansion? Couldn’t you think of your responsibilities as governor of NJ, the second-hardest hit state in 9/11?
2. Explain Cipel’s connection with Charles Kushner (Kushner, a top New Jersey developer who
has since been charged by federal authorities with obstructing an investigation into his business dealings last month was released from prison where he was sent for 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign donations, not to mention hiring a hooker to seduce his brother-in-law, hired Cipel at a $30,000 annual salary), a job you recommended him for.
3. Cipel wasn’t the only the only man you hired for non-existent jobs at the taxpayers’ expense: How do you explain Roger Chugh‘s job as “First Assistant Secretary of State” when there was no such job title according to the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services?
4. Was the timing of the “I am a gay American” scheduled to distract from the many investigations and arrests the FBI had made in the summer of 2004 of persons involved in your administration?
5. Didn’t you cheat the NJ electorate of the right to choose a governor by postponing your actual resignation date (nearly 2 months after the “I am a gay American” press conference) to the very deadline?
I’m sure NJ bloggers have many other questions for McGreevey. Some might even turn up at the scheduled book signings (there’s one coming up at the PU bookstore this Saturday, which I won’t attend, thank you).
At Oprah’s however, it’s all happy endings and endless personal growth.
The NY Observer
By the time former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey took the podium to make his spectacular resignation speech a little over two years ago – the one where he declared to a room of at least publicly stunned reporters, aides and family members that he was a “gay American” – he’d already made a mess of New Jersey’s government.
And the way the story goes from there, he moved on to clean up his personal life. Others fixed New Jersey.
The state budget was hopelessly out of balance. His political and ideological allies, frustrated by three years of vacillation on environmental issues, ethics legislation and spending priorities, had turned on him.
And most seriously, his administration was starting to give off the distinct whiff of ethical rot.
The governor had only shortly before been caught on tape uttering the word “Machiavelli” to a constituent. (He professes philosophical leanings toward Kant and the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in his new book, but in this context Machiavelli was considered – at least by federal prosecutors – to be a code word in an illicit fund-raising scheme.)
And, most spectacularly, at least until the famous “Gay American” speech, Mr. McGreevey”s chief fund-raiser and financial patron, real-estate magnate Charles Kushner, had just been charged with interfering in a federal investigation into campaign-finance violations.
You could well ask whether the public is ready to relive these political failures as though they had all been a journey of personal development for Mr. McGreevey. ReganBooks seemed ready to take the chance when they shipped the former governor’s tell-all, The Confession, to bookstores on Sept. 19.
It’s worked before: Mr. McGreevey’s resignation announcement changed the subject entirely. It was all unprecedented and, at least in a rubbernecking kind of way, impossible to ignore.