Monday, December 08, 2008

Corzine Sympathizes With Menendez’s DSCC Duties

By Nathan L. Gonzales

Three years ago, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) appointed then-Rep. Bob Menendez (D) to his Senate seat after Corzine was elected governor of the Garden State. Now, Menendez is slated to further follow in Corzine’s footsteps, taking the helm at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which Corzine once led during a time when the political landscape was quite different.

“He should have talked to me before he took it,” said a smiling Corzine during an interview Tuesday on a train en route to the Democratic Governors Association annual meeting in Washington, D.C. “It’s the most exhausting thing I ever did,” he added. “It’s like having two jobs at once.”

Corzine led the DSCC during the 2004 cycle, when President George W. Bush won re-election and Republicans picked up four seats in the Senate.

“We held our own,” said Corzine, who said he was most proud of the Senate victories of Barack Obama in Illinois and Ken Salazar in Colorado that year.

With Menendez at the helm, it means that three of the past five DSCC chairmen have been from New Jersey. Before Menendez and Corzine, Sen. Robert Torricelli led the committee during the 2000 cycle.

After his time at the DSCC, Corzine ran successfully for governor in 2005. He is up for re-election next year, and while he has not made an official announcement, Corzine, sounding confident, said, “I fully intend to run.”

This story first appeared on on December 3, 2008. 2008 © Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.