Amid glossy photos of prominent politicians adorning Democratic Congressman Jefferson Van Drew’s Capitol Hill office is a framed picture of him with Donald Trump.
It’s from 2008, when Van Drew was a state senator and the future president visited Atlantic City to christen the Chairman Tower at the Trump Taj Mahal. Both are wearing business suits, red ties and smiles.
“Nothing really amazing,” Van Drew, who goes by Jeff, recalled. “It was a ribbon-cutting. He was very gracious. Very nice. Ivanka (Trump) was there. We talked for about 10 minutes.”
That he would choose to display the photo among those of Democrats Bill Clinton and Bill Bradley speaks to a level of respect the freshman congressman from South Jersey has for Trump, a nod that is uncommon among Democratic lawmakers, many of whom view the president as a polarizing figure.