In case you missed this in Headlines last night, take three and a half minutes for a bit of political comedy that’s both amusing and, unusually, bipartisan. This was the highlight of New Jersey’s version of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner held yesterday in Trenton; everyone will get the Christie/VP gags but if you’re confused about Booker, this post will set you straight. One lingering question: How long will the buddy act here last? John Avlon wonders:
Despite their different political parties and political philosophies, the two have been able to find common ground on the critical area of education reform, thanks largely due to Booker’s willingness to buck the powerful teachers’ unions with his support for school choice and charter schools. Despite boosts like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million dollar gift to the Newark school system–and one of the highest per pupil spending rates in the nation at $22k–student performance and graduation rates still lag. Likewise, the per capita murder rate is far too high. But Booker, like Christie, retains an ability to pick tough fights and appeal across partisan lines, even if his approach is focused more on healing than confrontation.
With Christie up for re-election in 2013, there is some talk of a Christie-Booker confrontation, a fight between two possible top-of-the-ticket leaders in the future. This would be a must-win for Christie if he hopes to run for president in 2016. But an electoral car-crash between these two would be a waste of talent from a national and New Jersey perspective. Better to have Booker replace–and primary if necessary–the state’s geriatric Senator Frank Lautenberg.
We’re living in an age where politicians from different parties seem to have lost the ability to disagree agreeably. That’s why the joint video was such a welcome departure from the Washington warfare we’ve become accustomed to.
As for Christie possibly landing on the ticket this year, between the new Quinnipiac poll and the video on immigration from 2008 that Dave Weigel dug up, I don’t think he has to worry about it. Exit question: Christie/Booker fusion ticket in 2020?