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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dr. Randall Pinkett....from The Apprentice to the "Apprentice" Governor of NJ? Could Be!!

I have been an ardent supporter of Dr. Pinkett since his televised win on the fourth season of The Apprentice. I also believe that for someone as accomplished as Pinkett (a holder of five academic degrees, business owner and Rhodes scholar...and still not yet 40) he was virtually neglected by the media (both Black and White versions) for unknown reasons. One can, of course, surmise why Dr. Pinkett was persona non grata-a young, bright, articulate and especially non-stereotypical Black person just doesn't seem to satiate the public's appetite for African-American pathology.....I guess. Now we're in the post Obama era and it appears that Pinkett has found his moment in the sun. According to the latest news reports, the good doctor may have a shot at being an apprentice of another sort-New Jersey lieutenant governor. For more on this developing story, take a gander at this excerpt from the Associated Press:

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — "Apprentice" winner Randal Pinkett may be auditioning for a different role: New Jersey lieutenant governor.

Pinkett's name is among those being floated for the No. 2 spot on the Democratic gubernatorial ticket. If chosen from a narrowing list of contenders, Pinkett would apprentice under Gov. Jon Corzine, the incumbent seeking re-election.

Corzine campaign spokesman Patrick McKenna said no decision has been made.

Running mates must be named by July 27.

President Barack Obama is due to campaign with Corzine in New Jersey on Thursday, fueling speculation that he or GOP challenger Chris Christie could announce their picks by then. Christie's campaign deferred comment.

This is the first New Jersey election to include lieutenant governor candidates. The Legislature created the post in 2005 after the abrupt resignation of Gov. Jim McGreevey in the wake of a gay affair, making New Jersey the 44th state with a second-in-command.

With Corzine dragging in early polls, Pinkett's named has emerged as an out-of-the-box pick with the potential to energize the crucial African American base. Pinkett is African American.

"Corzine's preference here indicates how important African American voters are going to be in this election," said Brigid C. Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University. "Obama and an African American on the ticket gives those African American voters who voted last year a reason to come back out to the polls."

Obama carried all but a fraction of New Jersey's black vote in the last election.

Pinkett certainly possesses the academic heft to run with Team Obama and we wish him godspeed and luck. Now if only my team would discard hope with the likes of Sarah Palin and push for intellectual competence over pablum and hype. For more of the Pinkett story, click on the link below:

'Apprentice' winner may co-star in NJ politics

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