Webber on Palin

While Democrats quietly hailed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s Friday announcement that she wouldn’t finish her term in office as the latest in a series of Republican crackups nationwide,GOP State Chairman Jay Webber released a statement todayrefocusing on the statewide contest here and amplifying the sale of his gubernatorial candidate as the emblem of a new beginning.

Governor Palin’s reasons for her resignation are her own, but her decisionis not relevant to the most important issue in New Jersey this year: the failed tenureof Jon Corzine,” Webber said. “Behind emerging, strong, and principled leaders likeChris Christie,we expecta rebirth for our party in New Jersey in2009.”

Palin’s bow-out soliloquoy last week followed South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s and Nevada Sen. John Ensigns back-to-backadmissions of marital infidelity, which came on the heels of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s oratorical belly flop response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union, and Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter’s party flip afterdecades as a Republican.

Mindful of New Jersey Democrats’ efforts to nationalize the gubernatorial race with big stage events such as Obama’s scheduled July 16th arm-raising with Corzine, and Senate President Richard Codey’s (D-Roseland) budget night argument that the nation’s financial problems originated in Washington, D.C. with then-President George W. Bush not Corzine; Webber offered acomment consistent with an ongoingGOP effort to keep voters concentrated onthe governor’s recordand the isssues of New Jersey.