Menendez comes from NYC 'burbs with a HUGE campaign warchest. Now i don't want to make too much of the size of a man's warchest, but remember, whoever gets the call has to run for re-election in less than a year against a popular GOP candidate, Tom Kaine Jr. Menenendez would be the first Hispanic Senator from NJ so a pick for him is definitely a nod to liberal sensiblilities. Cons for Rep. Menendez are his right-wing attitude regarding Cuba and his penchant for amourous and political nincompoopery.
Another possible first would be the appointment of Nia Gill. She's a state Senator and aparently a crackerjack lawyer and orater. She'd be the first black woman to represent NJ in the Senate, so just like Menendez, this would be an historic pick. At this point she's my sentimental choice, even if she's not the odds-on favorite. It's shocking and shameful that Barack Obama is the only Afro-American in the Senate. Picking Nia Gill almost seems like a moral imperative to me.
Like Menendez, Rep. Rob Andrews has not been shy about telling us why he's 'the man.' I like Andrews, who is from nearby Haddon Township. Andrews was quite vocal in the fight to stave off Bush's Social Security privatization schemes and is generally a reliable progressive. But as much as I would love a to have a neighbor become Senator, I just do not see this happening.
By Jersey standards, both Holt and Pallone have a squeeky-clean image. Neither can match Menendez's campaign endownment, so it kinda feels like a waste of time to talk about either of these two getting a promition any time soon.
The announcement can not come soon enough for yours truly. Don't get me wrong, the anticipation is titilating and stuff, but THE SOONER THE BETTER!