Just ask Jim: I am not politically minded and grateful he watches the election coverage (Presidential debates, Vice-Presidential debates, post-debate-analysis etc.) routinely and with a certain relish and keeps me updated. I did laugh when, on mentioning this to my students, one observed that Jim is my proxy-election-watcher.
It is quite the irony that I am teaching, not without relish, a course on ancient Greek political systems this semester. The course's title (not my invention), "Criminals and Saints: Power in Greek Political Life and Imagination," has drawn sardonic and rich guffaws (not from the students).
Thanks to Jim and to the years Charlie, he and I explored the New Jersey/New York waterfront for his book about it, I have on occasion inserted mention of the likes of Frank Hague in a comment on a student essay. I could very well (and may yet still) make mention of the Bridgegate trial and its not-exactly-saintly cast of characters too. The daily commute here in the Bay Area and down to Silicon Valley has gotten uglier since the times of my 70s Oakland childhood but this is due to an excess of vehicles, an undersupply of roadways, aging and not as fulsome as one might wish for (oh for more transbay ferries) public transit options, ever-rising real estate prices making living miles/hours at the edges of Alameda and Contra Costa counties (or in Solano and Sacramento counties) a necessity for too many. But traffic problems -- at the behest of various government-affiliated functionaries and in the wake of other politicos cancelling major transportation projects to a halt in mid-construction -- those are something more Jersey generis.
After reading again about the massive traffic jam in Fort Lee that left, among so many others, schoolbuses and their young passengers stuck for hours on the first day of school in September 2013 -- a day when Charlie, after his usual month off from school, and we, were glad and raring for him to be back at the Developmental Learning Center -- I have been feeling deeply grateful that Charlie, Jim and I survived those times and have endured together.
And that I know a few things about Jersey politics, and politicking more generally.