Cory Booker shocks absolutely nobody by announcing Senate run

posted at 1:01 pm on June 8, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Raise your hands if you saw this one coming. (Okay… all of you without your hands raised are either amputees or are reading the wrong web site.) At a news conference in New Jersey this morning, the Mayor of Newark announced that he’s really, truly, officially, not at all kidding this time, running for higher office. Cory Booker will run in the special election to fill the seat of the recently deceased Frank Lautenburgh.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker officially announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate at a news conference in New Jersey on Saturday.

Booker, 44, will run to fill the seat vacated by the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died on Monday of viral pneumonia.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport,” Booker said at the event. “Now as much as at any time we must bring people together, we must get actually into the complicated, difficult, messy arena and take on the difficult challenges.”

Booker’s naked political ambitions have never been a secret, nor his attraction to anyplace with a camera. Those personality traits are no doubt part of what originally propelled him to the executive chair in the city which Howard Stern once called the Carjacking Capital of the World. People in New York are fond of saying that the most dangerous place in the world is the spot between Chuck Schumer and a camera, but Booker will likely give him a run for his money.

Whether it’s his constant self references to living in the projects to maintain his street cred, or very publicly living on food stamps (for a whole week!) to show how in touch with the people he is, Booker has regularly taken serious social issues in need of solutions and turned them into his own private circus. No matter the topic, Cory Booker can be counted on to make it all about him.

Assuming he wins the seat – and in the Garden State, I see no reason why he wouldn’t be an odds on favorite right out of the gate – I have to wonder about how the media will handle that oh so important subject of “demeanor” after he’s sworn in. When a particular Tea Party favorite arrived on The Hill, (*cough* CRUZ *cough*) we were endlessly lectured about his lack of restraint. You know the drill… new Senators should keep their heads down, not try to grab all the headlines, and show some deference to the senior members. Oddly enough, when Elizabeth Warren checked in at her new office and immediately began blasting the banks and asking why nobody had gone to jail yet, she was lauded for her “aggressive questioning” in the pursuit of justice.

Which sort of treatment do you think Cory Booker will get if he washes up on the shores of the Beltway? I’ll start the Jeopardy music while you consider your answers.


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Ten bucks says Jazz is going to vote for him.

abobo on June 8, 2013 at 1:04 PM

But is it a sport for those who make hostage videos?

BuckeyeSam on June 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Nonsurprise of NJ.

If Patrick doesn’t wake up Obama will forgive Booker and support him in 2016. NO way in hell will the Obamas support the Clintons nor dummy Biden. Obama needs a front man to cover up and continue his police state.

Schadenfreude on June 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

This guy. Clearly amazing. Like nothing we’ve ever before seen. He’ll end partisanship in politics for good, and could even usher in a post-racial era. No way his ambitious approach to politics is masking a thirst for power that will exacerbate the fascist tendencies of his party.

Gingotts on June 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

I guess Tingles will finally have his black Senator…

ladyingray on June 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Crissy Matthews will be happy to hear of this possibility, don’t'cha know ?
Perhaps FINALLY a black man in the Senate !!! ///

pambi on June 8, 2013 at 1:22 PM

LOL, ladyingray. :-)

pambi on June 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Booker will bring out the black vote for sure, but not all of NJ knows his name. Course they don’t know Lonegans name either but EVERYONE in NJ knows NEWARK sucks.

ctmom on June 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

This guy. Clearly amazing. Like nothing we’ve ever before seen. He’ll end partisanship in politics for good, and could even usher in a post-racial era. No way his ambitious approach to politics is masking a thirst for power that will exacerbate the fascist tendencies of his party.

Gingotts on June 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Oh I dunno, he may not be “Clean and articulate” enough for Plugs. And then we’ll have to see if he’s “Black” enough for the Justice Brothers Al and Jesse.

Oldnuke on June 8, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Which sort of treatment do you think Cory Booker will get if he washes up on the shores of the Beltway? I’ll start the Jeopardy music while you consider your answers.

It probably depends on which way the wind is blowing Corey decides to direct himself once he gets to Washington.

Remember he got slapped down hard last year for going off-message with Team Obama and had to publicly confess a Thought Crime. But given Obama’s current troubles, by the time the special election takes place in October, Booker may decide parroting the White House line, or being Chuck Schumer’s third vote (behind Kirsten Gildebrand) in the Senate is not the way to set himself apart from other Democrats.

He could end up being the irritating annoyance to the Democrats in occasionally going along with GOP proposals, the way Christ Christie is to the Republicans right now in sucking face with Democrats on a regular basis. But Corey’s also entirely capable of deciding his future success is best served by talking and voting to the left of Obama, in hopes of becoming the de facto leader of the liberal Congressional Black Caucus to position himself as a power broker once Obama’s out of office (Harold Ford’s descent into near non-person status via his mild criticisms of Obama from the middle, or Joe Lieberman’s voyage into Emmanuel Goldstein territory with his fellow Dems in recent years is a main selling point for Booker not to adopt the Christie ‘No Labels’ style — Republicans get media style points from moving to the left; Democrats to move right to woo moderate voters are generally ostracized and in Liberman’s case, demonized almost as badly as any conservative Republican).

jon1979 on June 8, 2013 at 1:30 PM

What!!? The Mayor of Newark qualified for Food Stamps?

Wow! There’s a program that needs a serious re-think.

ss396 on June 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

I guess Tingles will finally have his black Senator…

ladyingray on June 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Crissy Matthews will be happy to hear of this possibility, don’t’cha know ?
Perhaps FINALLY a black man in the Senate !!! ///

pambi on June 8, 2013 at 1:22 PM

He will be so pleased. We’ll have to see if the haters and racists win and Booker loses.

/Chris Matthews, intellectual cousin to Joe Biden.
/He’s an idiot. Literally. I’m serious. I’m not joking. (Bidenese)

Paul-Cincy on June 8, 2013 at 1:39 PM

I agree he’s the favorite, looking just at name recognition, but he doesn’t have much time to raise money and he’s well behind Frank Pallone in dollars. That puts him in some trouble. Rush Holt is also running, and he’s a good fundraiser, and there is a rumor yet another African-American politico will announce next week. This will be an interesting month for New Jersey Democrats, thanks to Chris Christie, and no Democrat will have much money left over for the general election. The incoming chair of the state Democrat party, who gets to decide when and where state Democrat dollars get spent, will therefore have a lot of power this cycle.

MTF on June 8, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Speaking of thing I was not shocked to read, the ‘gun nut’ who sent ricin to Bloomberg and Obama turned out to be a Moby:
FBI: Wife tried to frame husband for ricin letters

agmartin on June 8, 2013 at 1:44 PM

pambi on June 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

:D

ladyingray on June 8, 2013 at 1:45 PM

As someone who lives closer to Newark, NJ than most of you. He’s a hell of a lot better Mayor than the previous ones. For example, he’s never been indicted. He wants to be President, bottom line, always has.

AYNBLAND on June 8, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Why didn’t he attend the funeral of his long, long, long term senator today instead of holding a news conference? Did he wait for he end of the service, at least.

Kissmygrits on June 8, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Crissy Matthews will be happy to hear of this possibility, don’t’cha know ?
Perhaps FINALLY a black man in the Senate !!! ///

pambi on June 8, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Too bad there still aren’t any black people on the Supreme Court…

Shump on June 8, 2013 at 1:54 PM

O/T, but no where else to put it…

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Friday joined Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in urging Republicans to quickly approve Susan Rice’s replacement at the United Nations.

I missed this yesterday. McLame and Miss Lindsey, helping out as usual.

bofh on June 8, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Cory Booker is a moderate democrat. less liberal than lautenberg.

the only way we could get a more moderate DEMOCRAT is to have Chris Christie run for the seat

gerrym51 on June 8, 2013 at 1:59 PM

The Senate is a mere bump in the road to the White House in January, 2017.

Yeah, like the country will vote in a freshman senator just because he’s black…

Bruno Strozek on June 8, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Newark still smells so bad it will make your nose hairs curl every time you drive past. You might want to fix that before you seek higher office, corey.

V7_Sport on June 8, 2013 at 2:05 PM

When a particular Tea Party favorite arrived on The Hill, (*cough* CRUZ *cough*) we were endlessly lectured about his lack of restraint. You know the drill… new Senators should keep their heads down, not try to grab all the headlines, and show some deference to the senior members.

I don’t see anything about lack of restraint or new Senators keeping their heads down at that link. Whether right or wrong, the criticism was about the content of what he said and whether his accusations were factually true, not about whether he should be more restrained and keep his head down.

tneloms on June 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM

and christie could have had a gop in that seat for 18mths…

arrgghhhh

cmsinaz on June 8, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Say hello to the next President of the United States. God help us all, its just never gonna end.

Jack_Burton on June 8, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Crissy Matthews will be happy to hear of this possibility, don’t’cha know ?
Perhaps FINALLY a black man in the Senate !!! ///

pambi on June 8, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Too bad there still aren’t any black people on the Supreme Court…

Shump on June 8, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Maybe lil Chrissy could find some in HIS neighborhood.

Solaratov on June 8, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Barack Hussein Booker.

It will be good to finally have a black in the Senate, right Chris Matthews?

Hey, Chris not sure if you know this but Booker is BLACK, BLACK, BLACK.

Hey Chris, did you notice he’s BLACK?

Breathe easy Chris Matthews, I hear Booker is BLACK.

But hey Chris, is Booker rrrrrrrreeeallly BLACK (with authentic Slave blood, or is he just kind of BLACK)?

I wanted to make sure if Chris read this that he was able to figure out that Booker was BLACK.

Realllllly BLACK Chris, because he’s a Progressive Liberal that supports murdering the unborn in the BLACK community.

All hail the authentic BLACK.

PappyD61 on June 8, 2013 at 2:18 PM

When a particular Tea Party favorite arrived on The Hill, (*cough* CRUZ *cough*) we were endlessly lectured about his lack of restraint. You know the drill… new Senators should keep their heads down, not try to grab all the headlines, and show some deference to the senior members.

I don’t see anything about lack of restraint or new Senators keeping their heads down at that link. Whether right or wrong, the criticism was about the content of what he said and whether his accusations were factually true, not about whether he should be more restrained and keep his head down.

tneloms on June 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM

I don’t understand why anybody expects new Senators to keep their heads down anyway. Don’t they want to accomplish something? Who is going to see a leadership in a freshman Senator sitting on his butt, trying to say and do nothing, voting “Present” when he could instead stand for something? The country would have to be crazy, stupid, or both…

Gingotts on June 8, 2013 at 2:42 PM

“Democracy is not a spectator sport”

Neither is it a suicide pact.

locomotivebreath1901 on June 8, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Is that why he’s been using the SSM avatar for the past 2 months?

Connie on June 8, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Cory Booker…….the next road black to Hillary.

BWWWHWAWHHAWAHAAH

PappyD61 on June 8, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Block. :-)

PappyD61 on June 8, 2013 at 3:07 PM

O/T, but no where else to put it…

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Friday joined Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in urging Republicans to quickly approve Susan Rice’s replacement at the United Nations.

I missed this yesterday. McLame and Miss Lindsey, helping out as usual.

bofh on June 8, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Yeah, quick approve her before all her Jew-hatred and terrorist loving comments comes back to bite her like bogus talking points did in her predecessor.

Happy Nomad on June 8, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Obama Jr.

OxyCon on June 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM

and christie could have had a gop in that seat for 18mths…

arrgghhhh

cmsinaz on June 8, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Would it really have mattered?

alchemist19 on June 8, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Booker is by definition corrupt.

Sherman1864 on June 8, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Neither is it a suicide pact.

locomotivebreath1901 on June 8, 2013 at 3:03 PM

And the idea of allowing every spectator an equal say is not working out all that well.

MelonCollie on June 9, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Doubt that the Obama team will allow a competitor like Booker into the ring. He’s popular and does not need a teleprompter.

I expect he has some emails or phone-calls or something that will show he is not a true-believer. NJ Democrats have a wide choice of business-as-usual corruption-friendly demagogues.

Conservatives should be looking for some balance against the wobbly Chris Christie.

virgo on June 9, 2013 at 12:33 PM

First a bit of nitpicking, Jazz . . . it’s Lautenberg, not “Lautenburgh.”

Secondly, as for this statement of yours:

. . .
Assuming he wins the seat – and in the Garden State, I see no reason why he wouldn’t be an odds on favorite right out of the gate – I have to wonder about how the media will handle that oh so important subject of “demeanor” after he’s sworn in.
. . . .

Well . . . don’t be so sure about that!

There are definitely a few, and likely several other Democrats who will be in that race by the time the 1,000 signature petition quickly runs out tomorrow.

For example, two central Jersey Congressman, Rush Holt and Frank Pallone, are both in the race. This map shows where their districts are located — Pallone (light blue) and Holt (bright yellow).

Uber-liberal Congressman Rush Holt, whose district is weighted mostly in the western portion of central Jersey, has already publicly announced, and reportedly Congressman Frank Pallone, who also represents a central Jersey district, weighted more along the shore and also in central older suburban towns, will also be in as well.

Pallone has the largest war chest amongst the Democrats, with $3.2 million ready to go. Booker reportedly only has about $2 million currently available to him.

Even General Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, whose district includes East Orange, which borders on Newark, has been making noises about collecting signatures for a run. She and Corey Booker are in the same congressional district — NJ 10th — and they reportedly do not like one another.

Her General Assembly district is safe enough to allow her to run in both races — in the primary for the Senate, and if she loses that, to switch into Assembly mode. She already has the General Assembly primary behind her. If she lost in the primary, she’d likely have no problem at all winning the reelection to the Assembly seat. But focusing on the primary in August would certainly distract from her leadership role in the overall General Assembly race.

And there maybe others — possibly Rob Andrews of Camden County in South Jersey, across from Philadelphia (purple on the map).

However many candidates actually get in on the Democrat side, it promises to be a very divisive race, including regionally — and just before the November race in which ALL State Senate seats (40) and ALL General Assembly seats (80) are up, along with the Governor. For a number of reasons, the Governor’s coattails could garner him a much better Legislature to work with — perhaps control in one and possibly both houses of the Legislature.

The way the Governor timed the two races by splitting them was brilliant from a tactical perspective — and the least susceptible to a legal challenge on a State legal and constitutional basis.

He would have been very foolish to try to appoint someone for the remainder of the term. The Democrats would have had him in court on a 17th Amendment argument in a heartbeat — one that they could have handily turned into a public issue that at a minimum would have been very damaging to him politically. His critics in that regard were absolutely dead wrong.

Trochilus on June 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM

As I predicted yesterday in my comment Sunday afternoon, above, four Democrat “bigs” were able to secure the requisite number of signatures, and joined in the race . . . Congressman Frank Pallone, Congressman Rush Holt, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and General Assembly speaker, Sheila Oliver.

Oliver’s mysterious entry into the race is a potential problem for Booker, as there is reportedly some bad blood between them.

Moreover, she comes from a city that is also located in Essex County, and it actually borders on the City of Newark — i.e., East Orange. As a result, she could siphon off some of the black vote that would have otherwise gone to Booker. He is not popular at all with the City Council in Newark and fights with them regularly. I’ve heard knowledgeable politicians say that if Cory Booker tried to run for Mayor of Newark this year, he would lose. So, I smell an underground Democrat effort to try to deny Booker the nomination, but it isn’t obvious exactly where it is coming from — yet. The fact remains, however, that Oliver would not have gotten into this race on her own.

Of these four Democrats, Cory Booker is obviously the best known statewide, and he will therefore poll well at least at the beginning. But central Jersey suburban towns and shore communities in the district of Congressman Frank Pallone will support him. So will environmentalists statewide. Pallone has the largest war chest to begin with, at about $3.6 million by the latest count. There is only about $1.8 million in the bank for Booker to begin his race. That could change quickly

I also noted above that Congressman Rob Andrews might possibly run, but he apparently decided against doing so — or should I say someone decided for him. He would have easily been able to secure the required signatures without any problem at all, via the powerful South Jersey Democrat political boss, George Norcross.

His failure to enter the race was an immediate and excellent indicator that Norcross intends to be the king-maker in the race for the Democrat nomination. It would tailor very well with many of his actions in recent years. In fact, Norcross didn’t wait at all. He endorsed Booker today, so that works to Cory’s advantage.

In other areas, the gubernatorial candidate (State Senator Barbara Buono of Middlesex county) is fighting with organizations in some key counties, and a few Democrat officials are already endorsing Christie. They can count! She named a new State Party chairman, and immediately a few Democrat power brokers voiced their opposition. Major fight to follow!

With BOTH houses of the Legislature up this year, a good donnybrook amongst the statewide D’s is already beginning to break out, one that could easily disrupt their efforts in both races.

The Somerset County Democrats (all seven of them) are suing the Governor for the split races claiming “voter suppression!” It may go down in the sordid history of litigation as the stupidest lawsuit ever filed, and will very be thrown out of court before the ink dries.

So, all in all, this Democrat U.S. Senate race promises to be a very divisive and expensive campaign on their side.

Two Republican candidates signed up today — former Mayor (of Bogota) Steve Lonegan and physician Alieta Eck. Either could get a bit of a boost in the race as a result of the fighting, as well as the continuing scandals almost daily breaking out in Washington. But don’t hold your breath. No statewide U.S. Senate candidate has won in blue New Jersey since 1972, aided that year by the Nixon landslide in the Presidential race.

A conservative darling, Lonegan is by far the better known of the two statewide, and he will also likely poll much higher, certainly at first. Both of them have organizational Tea Party as well as Republican Party support. Steve Lonegan has maintained a very visible public presence for years, while Eck is little known, and as far as I know she has never run for office. Lonegan ran a statewide race in the Republican primary for Governor against Chris Christie in 2009, which Christie won handily.

Advantage Booker and Lonegan in the primaries out of the box. But, politics is not beanball, and things can change.

Trochilus on June 10, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Correction . . . “very likely be thrown out” . . . . in the paragraph beginning, “The Somerset County Democrats …”

Trochilus on June 10, 2013 at 11:59 PM