Geraldo Rivera, You Shall Not Pass!

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Geraldo Rivera is not going to be the next United States senator from New Jersey. Geraldo Rivera was never going to be the next United States senator from New Jersey, really, but after a brief burst of speculation following the death of Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Rivera made it official with one of the more bizarre statements I’ve seen in a long time. (And I covered Newt Gingrich.)

Here’s how it starts:

There is a scene in The Lord of the Rings where my favorite character, the aging, battle-weary Théoden, King of Rohan is confronted with a profound dilemma. Determined to honor his ancient oath and ride to the rescue of his ally the besieged nation of Gondor, he is told that his forces are insufficient to defeat the enemy, evil Mordor.

“No. We can not. But we will meet them in battle nonetheless,” Théoden answers grimly, doomed by honor and destiny to perish in what seems a lost cause. And he dies, but because of his sacrifice the good guys ultimately win

Improbably that scene came to mind just now as I wrestled with whether to seek the Republican nomination for the Senate seat from New Jersey left vacant by the death of 89-year old, five-term incumbent Frank Lautenberg.

And here’s how it ends:

Over the last 24 hours I reached out to former GOP candidates, consultants, colleagues and friends frantically testing everything from my ideological viability to prospective budgets.      

Ultimately, I concluded that whatever else it is, New Jersey politics is not a fantasy novel. For one thing, the energetic and engaging Mayor Booker is not the Dark Lord. And while I may be willing to die for the right cause, I’m not willing to bankrupt myself in a vain quest that is more Don Quixote than Lord of the Rings.

Previously in Republican politicos talking about Lord of the Rings: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasted tea partiers as “hobbits” and Sen. Rand Paul blasted McCain as a “troll.” Whither Tom Bombadil?

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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