DENVER – New Jersey’s Trenton triumvirate pumped up the delegation here a few hours before the Monday night main event, with Gov. Jon Corzine paying tribute to his legislative legmen: Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) and Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts (D-Camden).
The presidential campaign will come down to who can reach out and grab those undecided voters, said Codey, who showed up here today with a big green pin on his lapel that says "O’bama."
First, the Democrats have to be buzzed.
"We’ve got to elect Obama," Codey cried to a packed house at the Inverness Hotel. "Come on you know it and I know it! You know, the press keeps asking, "Are you united? I mean, come on. Come on! Yes!"
It’s all about the economy, said Codey, and a bumbling record under the Republicans, including thousands of lives lost in a "senseless war."
He introduced Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts (D-Camden), who made a blunt statement of unity to the delegation.
"It’s ‘us’ versus ‘them,’" said Roberts. "And you know, as extraordinary as Barack is, I am just as excited about Joe Biden being on the ticket."
That remark received a shower of hand claps, and moments later, Gov. Jon Corzine bounded up to the podium to celebrate the North and South Jersey legislative leaders. A lot of the delegates liked Corzine’s breakfast battle cry from early Monday, likening it to the best kind of pre-game tough talk yet delivered her in Denver.
The governor followed up on that this evening with another full-throated declaration of support for the two Irish-American politicians who had just preceded him at the microphone.
"We have worked on the toughest issues together," Corzine said of Roberts and Codey. "You’re hearing a lot about unity today because we as a Democratic Party need to be united to unite the country."
Shouting out to the crowd, the governor noted the 512,000 new Democrats who voted in New Jersey’s Democratic Primary, and the work ahead.
"We need another 100,000 between now and Election Day," Corzine cried.