Lighting the Torch

Tom Kean has released a new ad comparing scandal-ridden Sen. Robert Menendez to disgraced former Sen. Robert Torracelli.  The ad uses a media reference that makes the tie itself.  Amid continuing speculation that Democrats may once again pull a switch-a-roo before the election, the Menendez campaign will surely be undermined, as that strategy has worked in the past.

Not surprisingly, rather than defend itself against the rampant allegations of corruption, the Menendez camp responded with a weak attack on the ethics of a former Kean researcher.  While the voters may not appreciate the negative ads, it does serve to tie Kean to the culture of corruption against which Democrats claim to be running.  If anything, the continuing charges of corruption between the two camps are likely to reflect negatively on the incumbent, as change continues to be a mantra throughout the country.

With KeanĀ“s recent surge in the polls, the ad is a risk, but likely a necessary one.  Letting everyone else continue to attack Menendez would have been a more cautious route in attempting to run out the clock.  Caution in New Jersey, however, could also mean death in a state with a heavy blue lean.  As such, the Kean campaign rightly sees it necessary to take risks if it is to have any chance of pulling the upset.

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