Cory Booker Elections Ethics

Hatchet Job

Newark Mayor Cory Booker shoveling snow for constituents in 2010 (Natalia Jimenez/Star Ledger/Corbis)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker shoveling snow for constituents in 2010 (Natalia Jimenez/Star Ledger/Corbis)

In the same vein as Salon, The New Republic published a hatched job on Newark Mayor and Senatorial Candidate Cory Booker today which, from my perspective, completely misses the mark and is utterly unconvincing.

What both pieces have in common is that neither offer tangible evidence that displays how Cory Booker would vote as a member of the U.S. Senate. Both offer vague conjecture that Booker is a secret Wall-Street-apologizing vulture who will throw you under the bus just as easily as the Republicans will.

They both purport that Cory Booker is ‘worse than you think’ but don’t explain why other than to speculate that he is beholden to special interests.

Describing his alleged worldview in a very hyperbolic fashion does not convince me that he will not vote for the president’s agenda a majority of the time, and if he votes for the president’s agenda a majority of the time, I don’t care what his opinion of the ‘moneyed elites’ is. And, by the way, it’s very hard to take you seriously when you use phrases like “benevolent elite” and “moneyed classes” like some caricature of a staunch liberal.

If you’ve paid any attention to Booker over the past several years you would know that he goes out of his way to both respond to and take action to help even his poorest constituents. Even when some of them aren’t necessarily polite to him, he will personally deliver a hot meal to their home during a snow storm or connect them to someone on his staff that can help.

Some are alleging that he only does this because he’s a “camera hog” who is only interested in promoting himself, and to that I would say you’re missing the point. Politicians exist to promote themselves and their constituents. And if you like the policies he’s selling, who cares if he’s a camera hog?

Last but not least — if you feel that you’ve been tricked into believing that Cory Booker would be the second coming of Rand Paul or Ted Cruz who would feverishly fight against drones or government surveillance of foreign suspects, you have no one to blame but yourself.

That Booker does not fit your preconceived notion of what future Democratic candidates should look like does not mean he’s a sign that the end of days is upon us. And if your real problem is that he will vote in favor of President Obama’s agenda an overwhelming portion of the time, you should just say that. Don’t tell me he’s beholden to the “moneyed classes” and “benevolent elite” if your underlying motivation is to attack the policies of the president.

As always, the Far Left’s timing is inexplicably bad. The New Republic published their hit piece today after Booker has become the Democratic candidate by winning yesterday’s primary. And if all of this is what you really think, why didn’t you say it when he first announced his candidacy? Why him and why now? Is your desire to see Democrats lose control of the Senate really that great?

My gut tells me this may be a preview of what we’re in store for in 2015 as presidential contenders begin to emerge. The Far Left will trip over themselves to see who can write the most damning headline of whichever Democratic candidate is currently leading the polls, because it’s almost guaranteed whoever it is will not be perfect.

Part of me hopes Clinton will run just to save us all a lot of trouble.

Bob said it better than I could today when he categorized this as “sanctimonious self-satisfaction.”

  • Kevin B.

    I didn’t have an opinion on the primary, especially since I live in California; now that he’s the nominee, Booker’s one I will support.

    But really, The New Republic are “the far left”? HA HA HA HA HA.

    • mdblanche

      I’d say The New Republic is the troll left rather than the far left. Emphasis on troll.

      • Kevin B.

        Yes. “Concern troll” applies to a lot of what they publish.

  • AnOuthouse

    The New Republic is far left? Maybe its time for your annual calibration. A pretty empty post. I don’t know any more about Booker other than he has a -D after his name. I guess that’s good enough for some people. There were other -D’s in the race.

    • JMAshby

      I don’t know any more about Booker other than he has a -D after his name.


    • Oscar Jimison

      Other D’s that had zero chance of winning the U.S. Senate seat.

    • Lady Willpower

      Shame you couldn’t be arsed to actually look him up and find out some actual information.
      A pretty empty comment.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    There are times when I fully and completely understand why the far right hates the far left.

    • D_C_Wilson

      I have no use for the either extreme. One wants to turn America into a corporate theocracy, the other just wants to pitch a fit rather than do anything constructive because the last candidate they voted for didn’t give them the pony they were expecting.

      • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

        You said it!
        And these are the same types of purists who gave us GW Bush (and all the destruction he caused our nation) by wasting their vote on Ralph Nader in 2000.

    • FlipYrWhig

      Well, it has to be said, though, that the actual “far left” is minuscule, and that most of the loudest Obama critics aren’t ideologically “far left” at all, just grumpy and hypercritical. Most of the people who complain about “hippie punching” think that the fact that people want to punch them makes them hippies. They flatter themselves. They’re not hippies, they’re just punchable.

  • Oscar Jimison

    Susie Madrak over at Crooks and Liars posted one of these hit pieces on Booker a couple of days ago. The comment section was very telling. A lot of references to Booker as “slick” e.g.: “He reminds me of Harold Ford, but slicker”. And plenty of comparisons to President Obama, painting them both negatively.

    I’ve always found “slick” to be an interesting and borderline racist description, in that it’s usually applied to black men in an “I just can put my finger on why I don’t like him” sort of way. You rarely hear it applied to white men. It’s kind of like when you here Chris Mathews and others talk about how the Obama’s don’t seem “grateful” to be in the White House. I don’t recall ever hearing that knock against any other first family, Democrat or Republican.

    • JMAshby

      Virtually everything she writes is wrong at its core.

    • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

      As a person who visited and posted at C&L for many years, I can safely say without hesitation that it has become a septic tank of extreme leftwing bile.
      There are a lot more smart, current and enlightening sites to visit.

      • D_C_Wilson

        I have to agree. I used to enjoy that site, but they’ve become just another, “He’s worse than Bush!” Piss-and-moan fest.

    • mrbrink

      Yeah, on “slick,” I think you’re on to something. They called President Clinton “Slick-Willy“– really drove it home, too, and he was considered by some wisenheimers to be America’s ‘first black president’ at the time. There’s an association to the word.

    • FlipYrWhig

      I’m not sure about “slick” being more likely to be applied to African American political figures. Terry McAuliffe, for instance, gets called slick. I feel like in liberal-left circles it means essentially “salesmanlike” or “corporate.” How often is Obama called slick among that crowd?