Report: Cory Booker will run for Senate in 2014, pass on Christie challenge

posted at 2:41 pm on December 20, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

Scared of the big man, eh?

Newark Mayor Cory Booker will not challenge New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in next year’s gubernatorial race and will instead run for U.S. Senate in 2014, political sources familiar with his decision tell NBC 4 New York.

Booker will seek the U.S. Senate seat held by fellow Democrat Frank Lautenberg when his term is up in 2014, political sources tell NBC 4 New York. Lautenberg, 88, is the oldest current senator. He first served in the U.S. Senate from 1982 to 2001 and has served since his re-election in 2003.

Booker’s decision not to challenge Christie comes as the Republican incumbent enjoys record-high approval ratings in polls taken since Sandy hit the Garden State.

Democrats will have to scramble for a candidate to put up against Christie in 2013, now.

So far, State Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) was the first to throw her hat in the ring. State Sen. Richard Codey has come close to declaring but still has not stepped in. Senate president Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) are all considered potential challengers who may now enter the race, with Booker bowing out.

Christie led Booker 50 percent to 36 percent among New Jersey voters, a Public Policy Polling survey released earlier this month showed. Other Democrats weighing a bid for governor trail Christie by more than 20 points each.

Booker has not yet tweeted his announcement, but he’s tweeting very Cory Booker-y things:

I was hoping the announcement would come via hostage video. The seat Booker would run for is occupied by 89-year-old Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who has not yet announced his plans. Booker’s entry into the race would be a bit of an unceremonious push for the Senate’s last remaining World War II veteran. I wonder if it might make Lautenberg more likely to run. In a PPP poll released in late November, Booker led Lautenberg in a hypothetical primary race 59-22 among Democrats.

Most say it’s Christie’s popularity that is keeping Booker from running for governor, but I say it’s because he couldn’t figure out how he’d personally clear every driveway in the state after a storm. If he’s in D.C., he has an excuse.

Exit question (Allahpundit™): Who foresaw this?

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Isn’t Christie a Democrat?

LaughterJones on December 20, 2012 at 2:44 PM

I’d prefer that he challenge Christie. That is, if Christie doesn’t pull a Romney.

besser tot als rot on December 20, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Yeah, it’s gotta be easier to beat a cadaver like Lautenberg than Christie.

Bitter Clinger on December 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Booker will win going away. If you ask me as a former Jersey resident, I can tell you we could do a lot worse. I give you the current hobbit senator menendez as exhibit A.

Lost in Jersey on December 20, 2012 at 2:49 PM

That means if Booker has his sights set on the White House, he has to wait til at least 2020 before running. And that’s assuming he wins the Senate race.

Doughboy on December 20, 2012 at 2:49 PM

I say it’s because he couldn’t figure out how he’d personally clear every driveway in the state after a storm. If he’s in D.C., he has an excuse.

You’re probably right. Being in Congress is the easy way out of hard work. I still can’t figure out what any of them do that warrants a salary.

On the other hand, Booker may have had a call from Adolf L. Reed, Jr. after the Tim Scott appointment.

Cody1991 on December 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM

That means if Booker has his sights set on the White House, he has to wait til at least 2020 before running. And that’s assuming he wins the Senate race.

Doughboy on December 20, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Yes and no.

Obama showed the way: spend a few years in the Senate, then go for Th Big Prize.

Who do the Donks have on the bench for 2016? Biden? Headache Hillary? Kerry again?

They got zilch.

Booker is the heir-apparent, and the low info voters will lap it up.

Bruno Strozek on December 20, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Suckit, Booker, you stooge!

rayra on December 20, 2012 at 2:58 PM

He’d be a step up from Frank Lousenberg.

The Count on December 20, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Then he won’t serve, to run for president, just like Obama.

Schadenfreude on December 20, 2012 at 3:01 PM

heres the next Obama.

ChunkyLover on December 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Wouldn’t it be funny if some RINO ran against Booker and beat him.
That would be hilarious.

When do we remove New England from the country?

LoganSix on December 20, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Why does it matter who runs as a democrat? They all vote the same … they’re all corrupt … they all ignore the Constitution.

Just put up a Japanese robot and slap a “democrat” sticker on it’s head. Preprogram it with standard democrat rhetoric such as “raise taxes” and “you’re a racist” and you’re set.

darwin on December 20, 2012 at 3:06 PM

But he wouldn’t be able to save people from car wrecks or burning buildings anymore.

vcferlita on December 20, 2012 at 3:14 PM

If Lautenberg decides to retire — a distinct possiblity — that will free up Booker from actually having to campaign for the job.

Don’t be surprised to see if he uses his free time to begin exploring a presidential campaign.

Robert_Paulson on December 20, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Yes and no.

Obama showed the way: spend a few years in the Senate, then go for Th Big Prize.

Who do the Donks have on the bench for 2016? Biden? Headache Hillary? Kerry again?

They got zilch.

Booker is the heir-apparent, and the low info voters will lap it up.

Bruno Strozek on December 20, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Not possible. And I don’t even mean from a lack of experience standpoint. The timing doesn’t work. He’d literally have to start running for President right after being sworn into the Senate.

Doughboy on December 20, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I think this is smart. Gov. Christie’s approval numbers are bound to take a hit while he fixes N.J. problems, why would the local superhero take that chance. He can wait until N.J. is better situated and then run for governor.

Cindy Munford on December 20, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Democrats will have to scramble for a candidate to put up against Christie in 2013, now.

Corzine

Schadenfreude on December 20, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Schadenfreude on December 20, 2012 at 3:22 PM

LOL! Why aim so low? Maybe they can bring back McGreevey.

Robert_Paulson on December 20, 2012 at 3:25 PM

When do we remove New England from the country?
LoganSix on December 20, 2012 at 3:04 PM

NJ is a Mid-Atlantic state, not a New England state.

Another Drew on December 20, 2012 at 3:29 PM

The first thing that occurred to me was that he was told to run for Senate because the idea of the ONLY Afro American in the Senate being a Republican was unacceptable. It meant the Senate had NO African American credibility at all.

seymour on December 20, 2012 at 3:33 PM

He’d literally have to start running for President right after being sworn into the Senate.

Doughboy on December 20, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Respectfully disagree, DB.

All Progressive/Radical Left campaigns are perpetual.

It’s all about The Movement.

This is what the GOP doesn’t understand.

The pieces are interchangeable as long as it advances The Movement’s agenda.

That’s why Obama was The One. He was the best ever vehicle for advancing the Movement into mainstream power.

Worked, too.

Bruno Strozek on December 20, 2012 at 3:42 PM

NJ is a Mid-Atlantic state, not a New England state.

Another Drew on December 20, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Northern Virginia Colony. New England. Whatever. Anything East of the Ohio River and North of the Mason-Dixon.

LoganSix on December 20, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Smart move. This way he won’t be responsible, or held liable for his record, and he can grandstand and show boat just like Obama did so that he can run for the Presidency as another charismatic, Black pop culture icon.

OxyCon on December 20, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Who cares? More deck-chair rearranging. The entire political class is shot. The ship is going down. We need a third party or a Sarah Palin (who else is there?) or we’re finished.

rrpjr on December 20, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Tweeted Booker:

Life is about purpose not popularity, significance not celebrity. If u have no detractors, critics or adversaries ur probably not doing much

Booker, apparently still channeling Tupac followed this up with:

All I’m trying to do iz survive and make good out of the dirty, nasty, unbelievable lifestyle that they gave me.

CorporatePiggy on December 20, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Exit question (Allahpundit™): Who foresaw this?

Everyone.

steebo77 on December 20, 2012 at 4:13 PM

I cannot stand Booker on life issues, but this guy is likable, rolls up his sleeves and gets busy. Follow him on twitter. I do not think the guy sleeps.

guido911 on December 20, 2012 at 4:26 PM

I’d prefer that he challenge Christie. That is, if Christie doesn’t pull a Romney.

besser tot als rot on December 20, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Christie doesn’t pull, he’s a Catholic.

Archivarix on December 20, 2012 at 5:47 PM

…MSM…do your duty!

KOOLAID2 on December 20, 2012 at 10:39 PM