New Jersey Nastiness

If you’ve been following the madness in Jersey (or at least reading the NYT metro section, you’re familiar with the unprecedented, escalating arms race of attack ads between gubernatorial candidates Doug Forrester and Jon Corzine.

Hoping for a last minute infusion of elevated dialogue? Don’t hold your breath. You can watch the new Forrester commerical, which is pathbreakingly personal and bare-knuckled, here.

Even the wonks over at PoliticsNJ, who’ve weathered decades of Garden State shenanigans with placid insight, are reeling:

“The spot represents a strategic roll of the dice for Forrester. It could produce a poll-shifting payoff, just as it might stir a backlash that would bury him for good. But with his other options exhausted and the clock ticking, he may not have all that much to lose.

“‘We’ve never had an ad this personal in a New Jersey campaign,’ said Ingrid Reed of Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute. ‘I don’t think the Forrester campaign had time to focus group-test it. I have no idea how this will play out.'”

Corzine’s televised reply accuses Forrester of using a Bush-Rove smear tactic (strategy sound familiar?) and relying on “the politics of personal destruction.” New Jersey Nastiness