A Chance Encounter With Rush Holt

This from Steve Welzer:

Yesterday I was heading in to New York to visit with family. The 10:27 train at Princeton Junction was delayed. I was sitting in the station and two guys sauntered up. They were standing right in front of where I was sitting. One seemed to be kind of interviewing the other . . . who turned out to be Rush Holt (the eight-term Congressman who just announced he's retiring and won't run for re-election).

I listened for a couple of minutes to some dull back-and-forth. Then I stood up and got involved. I said: "Rush, I had been looking forward to engaging you in the fall campaign this year. I'll be the Green Party candidate for the House seat."
He was aware that I had run for Governor last year and he shook my hand. It was a friendly conversation, but I started to get in some comments about the limitations of an only-two-choices system. He said he wouldn't want to see a "fragmented" system with "too many parties." I said every other advanced democracy (except for the "Anglo" countries ... US, UK, Canada) has opted to use proportional representation so that 10% of the vote gets 10% of the seats in the legislature. He was practiced at rebutting the Green Party points, but he got blind-sided when another random individual stepped in to the conversation. The random guy said he had overheard us. He said his viewpoint was so different from that of the Republicans and the Democrats that he couldn't bring himself to vote for their candidates. He said he always votes third party and he said: "Why shouldn't I get some representation? Why do I get none at all?"

So now John Q. Public was taking my side in the debate and Rush was feeling outnumbered. The reporter seemed a little chagrined because his interview had gotten derailed. But he and Rush got lucky. Just as others in the station started listening in to the discussion the train finally came.

Rush and I wished each other "good luck" while he made sure to head for a train car far from where I was boarding.

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  • What kind of man goes along with this system year in and year out? This is what i ponder when I hear about Holt, – the last holder-on for liberals in NJ. — introducing legislation over and over that gets ignored. Forced to take pharma money to keep that office on Pton/Hightstown rd