Your Daily Dose of Campaign Spats-about-Nothing

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 21 2012 11:31 AM

Your Daily Dose of Campaign Spats-about-Nothing

Cory Booker has carved out a new role in black politics. In the past, in order to be elected mayor in a city like Newark, it would have been sufficient for a Democratic pol to work his way up the local patronage machine. In the past, this was what happened, and Sharpe James got to rule Newark for 20 years. But in 2002, Booker -- an aspiring pol from the suburbs -- ran for mayor and built a statewide and national rep as a New Kind of Black Politician. He lost, but by the time he ran again in 2006, he was unassailable. In office, he showed time and again that he was more interested in business development than it the sort of anger-spasms that can occupy liberal politics. One good example: His 2008 campaign to keep Starbucks in the city.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Anyway: Cut to Sunday and Meet the Press. Booker is asked about the Obama campaign's rather rote attacks on Bain Capital's jobs record. He dumps all over the "messaging." Later, on Twitter, he engages in a public Non-Apology Tour. (Example: "Yes I'm sick to my stomach of the politics of destruction. We now have a fed gov that can't come together & solve our nation's problems.")

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After this, bizarrely, Booker records a video explaining the thing he was trying to explain.

It's a sideshow, one that hasn't stopped the Obama messaging -- today, they're on to Bain's downsizing of AmPad. My favorite part of the sideshow is the Romney campaign's email blast to reporters, proving that Booker's loose talk was a disaster for Obama. Look at the evidence!

· The New York Times: “Surrogate For Obama Denounces Anti-Romney Ad” (The New York Times, 5/20/12)
· The Washington Post: “Newark Mayor Cory Booker Slams Obama Campaign Attack On Romney’s Work For Bain Capital” (The Washington Post, 5/20/12)
· The Wall Street Journal: “Obama’s Bain Attack Leaves Democratic Ally Uneasy” (The Wall Street Journal, 5/20/12)
· ABC News: “Cory Booker Slams Obama Campaign Ad Attacking Romney's Bain Capital Record” (ABCNews.com, 5/20/12)
· National Journal: “Booker Blunder Highlights Democratic Divide” (National Journal, 5/21/12)
· Politico: “Booker Bristles At Bain Attacks” (Politico, 5/20/12)
· The Daily Caller: “Newark Mayor Cory Booker: Obama Attacks On Private Equity ‘Nauseating,’ ‘Crap’” (The Daily Caller, 5/20/12)
· The Washington Post’s “Right Turn”: “Obama Team Messes Up On Bain, Again” (The Washington Post’s Right Turn, 5/21/12)
· Politico: “Ex-Rep. Ford: Booker Was Right” (Politico, 5/21/12)

From the Daily Caller to Harold Ford! Definitive.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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