They’re not freaking out, Democratic State Party Chairman John Currie told PolitickerNJ as his predecessor on the state chairman’s throne, Assemblyman John Wisniewski, basks in Bernie Sanders euphoria.
Currie’s going up to New Hampshire on February 4th and plans to campaign up there for his candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, through the 6th.
He acknowledges that Sanders – trouncing Clinton in a CNN poll of New Hampshire Democratic Primary voters this week – has run a good campaign for president so far, but Currie doesn’t fear an upset.
“He’s created an energy,” admitted the state party chairman, a veteran North Jersey Democratic leader. “I still think she’s in a good place. She’s always felt it would not be an easy primary, and remember, he’s next door to New Hampshire in Vermont, so you expect him to do well up there. He has a message, but I’m not in panic mode. The campaign is not in panic mode.”
Sanders, according to a CNN poll released today, is also doing well in Iowa.
Currie continues to be a big Clinton fan.
“Democrats should keep in mind that this is a person who works on both sides of the aisle, and the word ‘socialist’ scares the heck out of people. Hillary’s the most qualified person, and as a bonus she’d be the first woman president. Of course, it’s something she’s going to have to earn. Republicans are going to be tough.”
What about Wisniewski’s endorsement of Sanders?
“I don’t have a comment, other than it’s America,” Currie said.
The chairman’s close ally from Paterson, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-35) has traveled to New Hampshire in support of Clinton and intends to return in the coming days.
“We have to energize those young voters and make those voters feel like they are part of the process and part of a change of government,” Sumter said. “She [Clinton] also recognizes this. I’ve seen her on the trail [on debate night in New Hampshire]: she is charismatic and energized.”
As for Wisniewski’s comment that Sanders is picking up support in urban communities, Sumter said she doesn’t see such a trend in Paterson.
“We’re so localized with council races coming up in May,” she said. “We’re elbow deep in the throes of local politics.”
Another person in New Jersey Democratic Party circles spoke on condition of anonymity.
The source said the Clinton Campaign has already essentially conceded in New Hampshire and is focused on winning Iowa, then upending Sanders in South Carolina while the Vermonter is still taking a New Hampshire victory lap.
As for Wisniewski’s endorsement of Sanders, the source deadpanned, “We all know that Wiz backs Sanders because he ‘feels the Bern.'”