Welcome to the 2015 PolitickerNJ Power List.
As usual, before too many hurt feelings ensue, we would like to remind our loyal readers that the list DOES NOT – let’s try that again – DOES NOT – include elected officials.
One more time.
The list does not include elected officials.
The rules of engagement also require us to leave judges and former governors off the list.
Another important thing to remember, of course, is that the list is wholly scientific, meaning that it corresponds EXACTLY to the structure of power as it exists in the state of New Jersey. Memorizing a simple analogy may help: the laws of physics are to air travel, for example, as the PolitickerNJ Power List is to New Jersey Politics.
If one feels anger or passion in the aftermath of reading the Power List, we instruct the person – before, say, picking up the phone and making a call – to repeat that analogy over and over again to achieve a zen-like state of meditative calm.
But we know these things already. Just wanted to review the basics.
We seldom invoke Aristotle at PolitickerNJ (there being no paucity of profundity among our elected officials, and anyway we have Sacco, so we don’t need Plato) and when we do we don’t do it lightly, but as we interact in this imperfect crucible as old as the ancient Greeks and older, it’s helpful to remember these words:
“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. ”
In that spirit, we unveil the 2015 PolitickerNJ Power List, recognizing the primacy in this work of the social animal who in various forms – chief-of-staff, operative, lobbyist, labor leader, activist, organizer, lawyer, party chairperson, reporter, fundraiser, pastor, professor, teacher, mentor – is the unyielding political protagonist of the following pages.
Through it runs that other ancient maxim, whispered in the ears of emperors at the height of their power: “All glory is fleeting.”
And underneath it all, hopefully, is the sustaining will we hold in a state fraught with problems intractable and dispiriting, that even in the worst moments, emboldened by the gravity of the hour and still with good humor, we persist in the human belief – New Jersey style – that each of us can make a difference.
See you in Atlantic City!