Cory Booker’s inevitability took a hit this week as the family of late Senator Frank Lautenberg formally endorsed Booker’s competition in the Democratic primary, Frank Pallone. The family said, “Pallone stands out among the field of Democratic candidates to continue Lautenberg’s progressive leadership.”
In what seems to be a shot at Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the family also said that whoever picks up the Democrat mantle in the Senate for the deceased Lautenberg must put progressive principles first, and not be in it for “their own glory.”
Newark’s enigmatic Mayor has become famous for routinely being in the “right place at the right time” and being a hero in tough situations. (Here is a list of several examples.)
In fact, Cory Booker has become something of an internet sensation over the years, thanks in large part to his “heroic” actions. His chief rival for internet superhero is the world famous Chuck Norris, whose own meme is now being rivaled by Booker’s.
In the world of marketing there is a common cliché that any press is good press, but in the political realm that doesn’t generally hold to be true. There are types of press that no politician wants to be associated with. (Right, Mr. Weiner and Mr. Spitzer?)
So one has to wonder, while none of Booker’s press has as of yet been negative – are there other voices in New Jersey who happen to agree with the Lautenberg family? Up until now Cory Booker has seemed unstoppable, like a force of nature.
If the Lautenberg critique can be exploited, New Jersey’s GOP should do everything within their power to do so. If there are murmurs of discontent that the little city mayor has stopped caring about local politics because he prefers brandishing his name recognition, then the GOP needs to trumpet those murmurs.
Perhaps, if the GOP can paint Booker as a disinterested politician who only cares about what New Jersey can do for him, instead of how he can serve New Jersey… the GOP just might stand a chance in the October special election.
I doubt it though. New Jersey is a tough row to hoe for any Republican, let alone a Republican who has to face a guy with an enormously positive public persona. Cory Booker may not be unbeatable, but he’s as close to it as they come.