Morning Digest: September 2nd

Campaign season now under way in Bergen County 

Politics is practiced year-round in Bergen County, and street-level campaigning has been going on quietly all summer. But both Republicans and Democrats say the Rutherford Street Fair on Labor Day signals a more intense phase of electioneering. (Ensslin/The Bergen Record)




Taking a page out of pre-presidential playbook, Christie to visit Mexico

In the 1970s, as he was readying a run for the White House, Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter attended trade and commerce meetings in Israel, Iran and Japan. (Hayes/The Bergen Record)




Menendez urges tougher response to Russian role in Ukraine

The United States needs to persuade European allies to impose tougher sanctions on whole sectors of Russia’s economy and provide or finance defensive weapons to repel what is clearly an invasion of Ukraine, Sen. Robert Menendez said in an interview from Kiev on Sunday. (Jackson/The Bergen Record)




Obama promoting economic gains as elections near

MILWAUKEE, Wis.  — Taking a bullish stand on the economy, President Barack Obama is renewing his call for an increase in the minimum wage, looking to give Democrats an issue on which to campaign going into November’s midterm congressional elections. (Kuhnhenn/Associated Press)




Christie studies foreign affairs for a 2016 test

A few days after Russian forces invaded Crimea, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was asked at a confidential meeting of Republican activists how he would have handled the situation differently from President Obama. (Barbaro/The New York Times)




Chris Christie heading to Mexico

Gov. Chris Christie is headed to Mexico Wednesday for a three-day visit that has domestic political implications, though he insists the focus will be on building trade, economic and higher education partnerships with a country that spends billions of dollars on goods exported from New Jersey. (Jordan/The Asbury Park Press)




Mexico trip puts NJ under foreign policy scrutiny

In light of potential GOP presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s questionable grasp of foreign policy issues – as epitomized by his notably insubstantial response when queried about the best way to handle Russia’s invasion of Crimea – many observers will be closely watching his trip to Mexico this week to see how he deals with the type of responsibility that most typically tests the mettle of a president of the United States, writes Michael Barbaro in The NY Times. (Shubert/JP)




Gov. Christie readies for Mexico trade trip

As he prepares to lead a trade mission to Mexico this week, Gov. Christie has been relatively silent on an issue vexing the Republican Party: immigration reform. (Hanna/The Philadelphia Inquirer)




5 things to watch for in New Jersey elections

Here are 5 things to watch as New Jersey’s election season ramps up: BOOKER’S TEST Jeff Bell is trying to become the first Republican from New Jersey to be elected to the U.S. Senate since 1972. He’s running against Democratic incumbent Cory Booker. (NJTV)




In or out of the spotlight, Lt. Gov. Guadagno’s job is the same

For at least 60 days this year — and for much of next week, when her boss is in Mexico with a state delegation — Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno has had the chance to step up from being Governor Christie’s loyal lieutenant to being governor herself. (Hayes/The Bergen Record)




Driver tails Christie motorcade following incident

SEASIDE PARK, N.J. (AP) — A motorist who thought a member of Gov. Chris Christie’s motorcade had cut him off followed the vehicle into a Jersey Shore town, but the matter was peacefully resolved.




Christie has been helping GOP around the country but hasn’t had much success with that at home

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie has been traveling the country to bolster Republican candidates. But his efforts to boost his party at home have been lower-key with limited success.




Political Roundtable

Democratic Strategist Brendan Gill and Republican Strategist Tim White discuss the week in politics with NJTV News Correspondent David Cruz. (NJTV)




Taking the Peace Vigil from Teaneck to D.C.

TEANECK — The number 471 stands out for Paula Rogovin. It’s the exact number of consecutive Wednesday afternoons she and other opponents of U.S. involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated in front of the armory near Teaneck and Liberty roads. (Morrison/The Bergen Record)




At unofficial start of election season, national parties are focusing on one N.J. race

TRENTON — President Obama’s popularity is taking a beating, national Democrats are scrambling against the odds to cling to their U.S. Senate majority and Republicans are hoping to widen their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Friedman/The Star-Ledger)




Environmental groups endorse Booker for U.S. Senate

LONG BRANCH Several environmental groups endorsed U.S. Sen. Cory Booker for re-election to the U.S. Senate on Sunday, calling him a champion for the environment. (Peskoe/






Stile: Christie’s Mexico trip won’t address immigration

Governor Christie ripped President Obama this summer for failing to carve out some time during a Texas fundraising swing to visit the Mexican border, where the unprecedented flood of immigrant children from Central America had reached a crisis point. (Stile/The Bergen Record)




Jackson: Bell wrote the book on conservative views

In his 2012 book, U.S. Senate candidate Jeffrey Bell argued that social conservatives are the only true adherents to the Founding Fathers’ vision, because most liberals do not believe that human rights are derived from God rather than awarded by governments. (Jackson/The Bergen Record)




Opinion: The fruits of labor

THE LAST several years have been especially difficult for American labor unions. Demagoging politicians have scapegoated them. Declining membership numbers have weakened them. (Aronsohn/for The Bergen Record)


  Morning Digest: September 2nd