Catching up with Jon

I wanted see Jon Corzine in person at some point before the polls close, so I made my way at the crack of dawn to a fire station at the uptown end of Washington Street in Hoboken, where the senator was to cast his ballot shortly after 6 A.M. Corzine could just as easily have voted absentee (as apparently hundreds of thousands of N.J. voters have), but then he wouldn’t have been to offer the press the obligatory candidate-takes-part-in-democracy photo op. Maybe it’s because he’s favored to win, or maybe it’s because of Hoboken’s just-across-the-river proximity to Manhattan, but I counted at least 19 men and women with still and video cameras crammed into the firehouse. I may be wrong, but I don’t think there were any print reporters there; this was all about getting a picture on today’s newscasts. (I also wondered how many TV cameras will record Doug Forrester voting in West Windsor, which is a pretty long drive from both New York and Philadelphia.) When Corzine flung open the maroon curtain and emerged from the bvoting booth,someone– one of the cameramen, I think– shouted, “Give us a thumbs up!” And the candidate did. Then Corzine moved outside– politiciking is prohibited in polling stations– and the scene looked like New Hampshire, circa January 2004: a crush of cameramen elbowing and nudging each other for position as Corzine fielded a few questions. Nothing memorable was asked or said; again,this was all about the sound bite. One reporter asked him why the race had suddenly become “a squeaker.” “Polls are volatile,” Corzine said. “I’ve seen polls as low as 4 and as high as 10. We’ll see what it is tonight.” Then he hopped into the front seat of an S.U.V., which took off for the New Jersey Turnpike and Cherry Hill, where he was due to greet commuters– and Philadelphia television crews– at 7:30.

Catching up with Jon