If Cory Booker wins the primary for Senate next week and the special, general election in October, some credible New Jersey Democrat must be prepared to challenge him in next year’s primary.
Let’s remember a few things: This special, mid-summer election for the US Senate was scheduled by Gov. Chris Christie for his own political reasons and, I believe, to enhance the chances of the only Democratic candidate who has supported some of Christie’s most conservative positions on education and public employee unions—Cory Booker.
Let’s not forget, Booker and Christie are both fans of diverting public funds to private school vouchers.
Let’s also remember that, out of respect for Frank Lautenberg, other Democratic candidates held off announcing their intention to run. Booker did not, despite perfectly reasonable pleas from Lautenberg supporters to hold off so it did not appear the senator was forced into retirement. And we do know, of course, that Lautenberg was the only major Democratic figure to stand up to Christie. So, here again, are Booker and Christie, perfect together.
The election in October is only for the rest of Lautenberg’s term. Its winner must run again next year. If Christie had the best interests of the state in mind—as opposed to the best interests of Chris Christie and Cory Booker—he would have appointed someone to fill the unexpired term and held the election, as scheduled, next year.
He would have saved the state more than $20 million. He would have created the conditions for an election that would have reflected the will of the people of New Jersey, not just the needs of Chris Christie’s ambitions.
I frankly believe Booker would have lost his race for a third term in Newark and that could have been the end of his career. He felt he had to get out of town, fast.
Booker has been gaming the gullible main-stream media for years. These extraordinary stories about rescues of grandmothers and puppies. Please. Or of living on a poverty diet—especially now that we know the man is a millionaire with billionaire friends in high places in the tech and communications industries. No wonder he was “nauseated” by Barack Obama’s criticism of Bain Capital. Despite the rhetoric, despite the media hype, Booker is far more of a Republican than he is a Democrat. He will be Christie’s partner–hardly just what New Jersey needs.
Whoever wins the Democratic primary next week will win the election in October. And, without opposition from within the party, the chances are good that man or woman will be the senator from New Jersey for a long time.
All this leads to only one conclusion: If Booker wins Tuesday, some credible candidate must immediately announce he or she will challenge him next year. I support and work for Rush Holt and I hope he will make that decision, if it becomes necessary.
But someone has to do it. Someone has to take back the state.