It used to be the Jersey problem that most people saw and judged the Garden State by the one view most common to visitors — the scar of a turnpike that traversed it. However popular Jersey’s most famous residents were — Frank Sinatra, Yogi Berra, Bruce Springsteen, Jersey Boys — they had a common feel. As did those music stars — Sarah Vaughn and Dizzy Gillespie. Woodrow Wilson — president of Princeton and governor of the state — seemed somehow out of character for New Jersey. Every school kid learned the names of Founding Fathers from Virginia — Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe — but who knew about our guys at the Constitutional Convention — William Livingston, William Paterson, David Brearley?

Businessmen know what a great place New Jersey is. Why do the New York Giants play there? Huh! Why did Jackie Kennedy buy her horse farm in our horsey county? Who had a classier senator than Bill Bradley? Huh!

But which mob does al Qaeda run that two of its upstarts tried to earn their bones by going to Pakistan? This is too much. All right, already. Get ridda these guys! They are killing the Jersey rep. It’s time now to get serious about the war on terrorism. The president better make a trip to Jersey soon. Show us some love.