On the “Cammarano for Mayor” website, it still says: “Peter Cammarano is ready to get to work on Day One!” Day One, maybe. However, Peter is just not ready to work on Day 29. Or 30. Or 31.
And so, the mayor-ship of Peter Cammarano has come to a close, just one month after a promising start for the 32-year-old Hudson County dynamo.
Let’s put Cammarano’s length of service as Mayor of Hoboken in perspective: Indeed, it was longer than the brief governorships of John Farmer and John Bennett. In fact, Cammarano held onto Hoboken longer than Louisiana’s own Jason Alexander held onto Britney Spears, a loving yet tumultuous 55-hour Las Vegas-induced wedding.
It did not, however, last as long as Chevy Chase’s talk show, a dark, six-week period in the annals of comedy history for which some television executives are still seeking psychological help. Frankly, I’ve held onto DVDs from Netflix longer than Cammarano’s Mayoralty.
How about a broader perspective of the length of Cammarano’s public service as a city’s chief executive: According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Jayasimha Ravirala lectured on personality development concepts in Hyderabad, India, from 24 March to 29 March 2007 —for a little over 120 hours. Arulanantham Suresh Joachim of Sri Lanka balanced on one foot for 76 hours 40 minutes from May 22-25, 1997. I doubt that either of them took a white envelope filled with cash before, during or after their record setting event. Cammarano has them both beat—he was once able to talk a good public policy game and keep his balance in New Jersey politics. But, alas, no more.
The elected official that Cammarano most reminds me of is our ninth President of the United States, William Henry Harrison. He lasted only 32 days in office, but that was because Old Tippecanoe insisted on delivering an outdoor, two-hour inaugural speech in freezing weather without his overcoat. He caught pneumonia and died, only to have the rest of his four-year term go to Tyler Too. Peter was smarter than that: he wore a light jacket on his Inauguration Day.
And the jokes will abound on the Late Night talk shows:
“The economy is so bad in Hoboken, that when Mayor Cammarano takes a bribe, he has to bring his own table.” Or “Mayor Cammarano is doing everything he can to keep Hoboken environmentally friendly: He is now taking his bribes electronically using PayPal—to not waste the paper envelopes.”
In the meantime, let’s meet soon at a Hoboken bar on Washington Street, and raise our beer glasses to the brief tenure of Peter Cammarano. Some day, in the not too distant future, maybe he’ll be the answer to a “Jeopardy” question in the “It Happened in New Jersey!” category.
Hopefully, it won’t be Double Jeopardy.