• New Jersey State Senator Barbara Buono, of legislative district 18, is photographed in her Metuchen home on February 18, 2013. New Jersey’s first woman to be State Senate Majority Leader, Buono is running to be the next governor of New Jersey. (Andy Jacobsohn/The Daily Beast)

    The Anti-Christie

    Chris Christie casts a big political shadow—but one Democrat has stepped up to try to take him down a peg. David Freedlander reports.

    Last week was not a good one for Barbara Buono. The longtime state lawmaker had the week before become the only Democrat in New Jersey with the temerity—or the lack of a sense of self-preservation—to jump into the governor’s race against Chris Christie, he of the gargantuan girth, larger mouth, and still larger approval rating. On Tuesday, a Monmouth University poll put her 42 points down. More worrisome, nearly two thirds of Garden State voters said that Christie deserved a second term. He had just appeared on Late Night With David Letterman wolfing down doughnuts. A couple of unions had already endorsed the governor, and some Democratic leaders in the state signaled that they were about to do the same. On Wednesday, Christie was feted at the Silicon Valley home of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and was fending off questions from the Trenton press corps about whether or not his reelection campaign amounted to a coronation.

    Then on Monday night, the SUV Buono was riding in made an ill-advised right turn and was slammed into by a Ford Escape; Buono was sitting in the back without a seatbelt, and ended up going to the hospital for a laceration above her right eye. The incident was a reminder of a car accident that former governor Jon Corzine had been in five years before, one that laid him up for several weeks and set him on the downward trajectory that would reach its nadir when he lost to the then little-known U.S. Attorney Christie in 2009.

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  • Georgette Mosbacher speaks during a panel discussion at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California on April 30, 2012. (Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg, via Getty)

    Family Feud

    GOP Fundraiser Furious at Own Party

    Georgette Mosbacher tells Michelle Cottle she’s “mad as hell” about what the GOP has done to itself.

    Best not to ask GOP fundraising legend Georgette Mosbacher about the state of her beloved party unless you want an earful. The co-chair of the RNC’s Finance Committee (and CEO of Borghese cosmetics), Mosbacher is “mad as hell” about the myriad ways the “brand has been tarnished”: the sorry state of the presidential primary process, the ongoing alienation of Latino voters, the “outrageous” Senate candidates that the party ran this cycle, the epic failure of the fiscal-cliff negotiations, and, most recently, the House’s dithering over disaster aid for the victims of superstorm Sandy.

    “I’m angry!” fumes Mosbacher. “I’m angry about the stupid mistakes that were self-inflicted.” It’s this last part she finds the most enraging. Though she believes the party has “unfairly” been defined by its recent mistakes, she is very clear about where the ultimate blame lies: “We did it to ourselves.”

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