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.