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NJ-Sen: Cory Booker Exploring

by: shamlet

Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:26:01 AM EST


Yeah, we knew this was coming...

Newark Mayor Cory Booker will not challenge New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in next year's gubernatorial race and will instead run for U.S. Senate in 2014, political sources familiar with his decision tell [WNBC]. Booker will seek the U.S. Senate seat held by fellow Democrat Frank Lautenberg when his term is up in 2014... Booker is expected to tweet his decision to his more than 1 million followers some time Thursday.

Interesting that he's jumping in right now and not trying to coax Lautenberg into retirement with a prolonged "exploratory" phase. UPDATE: He is only "exploring", with more of a gentle hand than a shove out the door towards Lautenberg (h/t MosheM)

I will complete my full second term as mayor. As for my political future, I will explore the possibility of running for The United States Senate in 2014... As I explore a run for the United States Senate, I look forward to consulting with Senator Lautenberg. During my lifetime, he has been one of New Jersey’s most important leaders. It would be a privilege to continue his great legacy of service.
shamlet :: NJ-Sen: Cory Booker Exploring
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Heh
Hopefully Booker loses to Lautenberg. I'd be tickled. The last thing we need is for Democrats to get a Marco Rubio-like figure for their base in the Senate (and, no, Liz Warren is not Rubio-like, though she is popular with the nutroots).

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Stylisticly, Booker is nothing like Rubio.
Booker plays up the modest means factor and gets his appeal from his folksy down-to-earth humor and personality, while Rubio is clearly more of a soaring rhetoric kind of guy that gains his base popularity from his outspoken ideological purity and his silver tongue.

Rubio is much closer to Obama than Booker.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.


[ Parent ]
I didn't phrase that right
What I meant by a Rubio-like figure is a compelling figure with charm and the (likely, in Booker's case) ability to win some votes from the other side of the aisle. I also meant someone with star power. I know they're stylistically different.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Corey is 43
Even if he loses he's not fading away

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Doubtful
Lautenberg hasn't been loud about running again and Booker is no Andrews.  I think Lautenberg retires with this.

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
Agreed
Lautenberg is savvy enough to realize he'd probably lose by 10 to 15 points to Booker. The mayor would likely even win among white Democrats.

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]
Are they close?
Could be a case where Lautenberg told Booker in advance of the standard off-year January retirement announcement.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

Democrats are freaking nervous that something happens to Lautenberg
when he's in Office so they called on Booker to take Lautenberg out so Christie doesn't get to appoint a Republican once he's reelected.

[ Parent ]
We'll see
Lautenberg has built up a strong reservior of goodwill among the high ups, something that Booker hasn't yet done.  That and the Congressmen don't want to be jumped just yet.  DC Dems and rank-and-file might worry about Lautenberg having to leave office early, but that's not a really big deal for the local machines.  Remember the reason Rob Andrews was "promoted" to Congress by Norcross was so he'd get out of his hair.
Obviously if Lautenberg retires on his own, then it's a different ballgame.

[ Parent ]
Appointment
When's the last time a governor appointed someone to a United States Senate seat who was of a different party than the one who last held the seat? I think it's a rare occurrence.

[ Parent ]
1999
Zell Miller for Paul Coverdell.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
More recently than that
Dean Barkley for Paul Wellstone in 2002.  

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
Missouri, 2001
It also fits the situation I described but isn't the most recent. However, the Missouri governor picked Jean Carnahan to be appointed to the United States Senate seat that her husband, Mel, won, even though he died before the election. It fits because Jean is of a different party than John Ashcroft and he held the seat before her. That is a special situation because Mel won over Ashcroft so the governor had justification in choosing a Democrat for the seat.

[ Parent ]
Booker > Lautenberg?
Obviously, from a purely electoral perspective, Lautenberg is better for Republicans, for the reasons RRR and Daniel G mentioned above. However, I get the impression that, unlike Obama, Booker genuinely is a moderate Democrat, willing to work with Republicans on some conservative priorities like education reform, and not totally beholdened to unions. From this perspective, wouldn't he be better than Lautenberg? I also think that, if Andrew Cuomo can't pass Democrats' ideological litmus test for president, Booker can't either.

Short of getting a genuine Republican elected here--which seems possible but not highly likely--Booker may actually be the best Democrat we can get in NJ, from the perspective of actually getting stuff done.  

male, social, fiscal and foreign policy center-right Republican, in but not of academia, VA-08.


We won't get any stuff done in the Senate
The Chamber is too polarized. Look, we'll get even a more partisan Senate in January then we've right nwo.

I agree on Booker. He's seems more moderate than Obama for instance.


[ Parent ]
I'd probably support Booker over an underwhelming Republican
He does strike me as a pragmatic, center-left "New Democrat," in the vein of Andrew Cuomo and even Harold Ford. Whereas Lautenberg is just another partisan, down-the-line liberal.

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]
Booker
I think he's a little more liberal than Ford but he speaks moderately which now a days is almost as important.

I do agree he will break ranks a little more often than Lautenberg.  

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat


[ Parent ]
Ed Case - Fortune Teller
If Booker challenges Lautenberg, it reminds me of Case challenging Akaka.  From wikipedia in 2006:

Case had stated that although he has the deepest respect for Daniel Akaka, Hawaii is in a time of transition with regard to the state's representation in Congress which requires that the state phase in the next generation to provide continuity in that service. He had warned the state would lose all clout in Washington if the state's two US Senators, both of whom are over 80 years old, leave office within a short time of each other.


Booker needs to be delicate here
If the NJ establishment circles the wagons this could go horribly (and hilariously) wrong. I'd put the odds of that at about 1 in 3, with equal odds that they actively push Lautenberg out or just stand aside and let Booker win a primary.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Booker won't clear a Primary Field should Lautenberg retire
Rep. Frank Pallone is considering a Senate Run as well.

[ Parent ]
Nah
Booker will beat a no-name in a primary, despite the grumbling on the left. NJ is super-expensive and he'll tower above anyone else in name rec and fundraising. Pallone's only hope is for Lautenberg to run again and beat Booker in the primary so he can run in a future special.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
I disagree
If Lautenberg retires the Primary will get pretty crowded. In New Jersey a chance at a Senate Seat doesn't come very often and I would imagine that a lot of Members from the NJ Democratic Congressional Delegation will take a look.

[ Parent ]
I do so love a Democratic clown-car.
Hey, if Booker loses to a politician on his left, can we spend hours and countless op-eds talking about the Democratic civil war, and their extremely extreme base that's never been this extreme before ever? Turn-about's fair play, and all that.  

male, social, fiscal and foreign policy center-right Republican, in but not of academia, VA-08.

[ Parent ]
How sadly clairvoyant Case was
Hawaii's Senators did end up leaving office within a couple weeks of each other. And they'll have two freshmen Congresswomen too.

[ Parent ]
Official announcement
I will explore the possibility of running for The United States Senate in 2014.

As I explore a run for the United States Senate, I look forward to consulting with Senator Lautenberg. During my lifetime, he has been one of New Jersey's most important leaders. It would be a privilege to continue his great legacy of service.

http://www.corybooker.com/fini...

26, Male, R, NY-10

what has he done make Newark better?
I still would never walk through streets of Newark at night by myself

Off the top of my head
I believe under his leadership the crime rate has been lowered, more parks have been created, the public education system in Newark has improved etc.

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
well
Taxes have risen more than 20 percent over the past three years, even after the city laid off about 1,100 workers, including more than 160 police officers. Crime has risen, and unemployment is up. Schools remain under state control, and the city's finances remain so troubled that it cannot borrow to fix its antiquated water system. While new restaurants have risen near the Prudential Center downtown, those in the outer wards were placed under a curfew this year because of shootings and drug dealing.

Well, that's just from the NYTimes...

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/...


[ Parent ]
I am of the opinion
That it's not his fault. Nothing can be done to many urban areas. There is a culture of crime. You can't change a culture.

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
true
But we still are left with the question, "What has he done to make Newark better?"
If the answer is, "No one can do anything," then I don't see why he deserves to be a political leader.

[ Parent ]
You only have to say
"Sharpe James".

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
be careful
I'm not entirely sure Sharpe wouldn't beat Booker if there were an election tomorrow in Newark...

[ Parent ]
Not statewide
All that matters.

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
more?
He's had multiple budget chiefs, and in 2011, his administration sold 16 buildings and cashed a $40 million check. As The Star-Ledger pointed out, however, this forced the city to rent back its own bricks and mortar, paying about $125 million to bondholders over the next 20 years.

[ Parent ]
Before Booker.....
you would never walk through the streets of Newark during the DAY by yourself!

There is no doubt that Booker has been a rare oasis of common sense good government in the otherwise corrupt and incompentant government of Newark. When it comes to urban governance Booker has been one of the good guys.  


[ Parent ]
Another wrinkle
The Newark Mayoral election?  It's in May of 2014.  The Senate Primary would be in June of 2014.  He doesn't have much room to move around here.  It's not like he can lose and still be mayor, which could engender a sense of abandonment among the people who he hopes will show how "great" he's been as Mayor.  Granted, he doesn't need a public office to get press and stay relevant, but expect anyone going against him to have a nice clear line of where Newark was the day he came into office, and the day he leaves. If it's not good, he could be in trouble.

Booker has stated that running for Senate is an either/or proposition
which means if he runs for Senate he wont run for re-election in Newark.

[ Parent ]
They obviously don't like the bad optics with Scott
And how the Republicans have a black senator and the Democrats don't.  Booker is probably the only Black Democrat who could win a senate seat in 2014.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-18
Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


[ Parent ]
Patrick
that would be the more immediate answer.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Hasn't he signaled that he doesn't want to be a Senator?
I thought that was the main reason no one was talking about him for the soon-to-be-open Senate seat.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-18
Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


[ Parent ]
Yes
but if Obama wanted to twist an arm to get a black Senator Deval would be the one to do it to, not Booker.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
I think this means Cory Booker wants to be President
IMHO thats the only reason he's running for Senate.

If Booker wins in 2014 he starts laying the groundwork for a 2020 Presidential campaign. Booker for obvious reason might be one of the few Democrats who could successfully reassemble the Obama coalition.  


Age
He will be 51 in 2020, 55 in 2024, and 59 in 2028. He has options depending on who wins in 2016.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
Christie and Booker
That would be a matchup in 2020 for the ages.

28, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
The only way that would happen
is if Christie ran and won in 2016. Certainly a possible scenario, but I am not sure how likely it is. Although postulating about 2016 at this point is shooting from the hip, at best.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
Or a Rubio vs Booker matchup!
That would be a matchup in 2020 for the history books.  

[ Parent ]
Yes
If this exercise showed us anything, it's that Booker is a guy who will wait for the right opportunity. He could conceivably wait into the 2030s and run as an elder statesman. Given that there aren't any Senators that are really known as HELP wonks (except maybe Bennet) he has the opportunity to really carve out a unique policy niche and make a name for himself as a genuine Senate workhorse, if he wants to.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Dont forget Booker could win in 2016 too!
I have to believe if Booker gets elected to the Senate he's got to be on every Democrats short list for VP in 2016. Booker knows this and thats why he's running for Senate and not Governor. Its clearly a stepping stone for him.

[ Parent ]
Possibly
But it really depends on who gets the nomination. If it is Hillary/Cuomo/Gillibrand, I am almost certain there won't be a New York / New Jersey ticket. However, if it is someone like Schweitzer, Hickenlooper,  or another western Democrat, I could see it.  

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
99% sure the D ticket in 2016
will have to include a woman. Basically that leaves Warren as the only potential candidate who could select Booker.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
illinois congresswoman-elect
They could place the congresswoman Duckworth

[ Parent ]
Uhm
WTF? Why would someone pick a sophomore Congresswoman who is, by all accounts, rather dumb and underperformed President Obama by three or four points against Joe Walsh? Sure, she's a veteran and I commend her service but why her over the many more-qualified female politicians someone could pick?

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Joe Biden is VP
I don't think intelligence or electoral ability enter into play.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Joe Biden
Oh, come on LCL. Joe Biden was nearly a four and a third term Senator when he was picked, not a second term Congresswoman. He also did perform well in Delaware back in the day, seeing as it was swingy once upon a time when he was Senator. He therefore did bring electoral ability, especially in blue collar areas. He also brought foreign policy and general experience (in the minds of the media and the Obama team) to the ticket. Intelligence isn't always that big of a factor, I guess.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Duckworth could be a Senator by 2016
she would be just as good as the last third-of-a-term Senator picked.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
That third-of-a-term Senator
Not sure whom you're talking about, because Barack Obama was a two-thirds-of-a-term Senator. Plus, he's way smarter and more talented than she is. Duckworth underperformed against the oft maligned Joe Walsh... with Obama on the ticket!

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Nixon
nt

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Look at a list of VP picks
Yes, Biden had more experience but there's nothing stellar about 'ol Joe. A lot of VP picks have been questionable. Our very own Sarah Palin had a light resume and wasn't very well regarded in the smarts department.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
I too could see Duckworth, if she's in Durbin's seat then
If O'Malley, Cuomo, or another white male is the nominee, the Dems will insist on a minority or female on the ticket. Duckworth is both and is also a disabled veteran with home-state ties to the popular (in his party) outgoing President. Stranger VP picks have been made (Agnew, Spiro).

[ Parent ]
Agnew wasn't strange so much as calculated
He was impeachment insurance.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
Agnew was VP in '68
Nixon wasn't thinking about being impeached before he took office. In 1972 they retained Agnew on the ticket, but that decision was made long before the break-in. On election day 1972 the scandal was relatively minor and showed no signs of hitting Nixon.

In fact, Agnew's scandal was already hitting the fan when Watergate started heating up.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
mayhe he meant impeachment insurance
Like Biden is "Impeachment Insurance".  No one wants to impeach if that's what you are getting instead.  Agnew was a bit of a lightweight, and therefore not someone that anyone really wanted to be President, thus "Impeachment Insurance".  His resume was very Palin-esque (2 years as Gov) but he was a decorated War hero.

[ Parent ]
He wasn't picked with impeachment in mind
Nixon wasn't clairvoyant that he'd cover up something that wouldn't happen for four years.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
that's what I meant
http://www.senate.gov/artandhi...

Nixon had quipped that Agnew was his insurance against impeachment, arguing that no one wanted to remove him if it meant elevating Agnew to the presidency.

Not sure it was really a quip though.  Nixon was very calculating; I think it was intentional.


Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
He had alot of experience though
and was picked to sort of balance out Obama's "Outsider" approach on the ticket.

Also, not being white is a big plus.  There aren't many Non-white Female Democrats who could function well nationally, even on paper.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-18
Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


[ Parent ]
By All Accounts?
I don't think I've ever heard Tammy Duckworth called dumb.  Are we talking people outside of the GOP in IL?  Not dismissing, just curious.

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
Duckworth
1) She ran a completely scripted campaign with basically no unscripted appearances because she was more federal policy knowledge-lite than Mia Love (without being as rhetorically talented).

2) Rumor has it Durbin's folks were basically sending her cue cards so that she'd know what to say on the campaign trail.

3) Watch her Chicago Tribune editorial board session against Joe Walsh. Blithering doesn't begin to describe it. The editorial board criticized her performance but basically said they just couldn't endorse Joe because of his rhetoric and personal issues (read: they couldn't get away with endorsing every Chicago area Congressional Republican incumbent).

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.


[ Parent ]
Klobuchar
Not sure if she runs, but there'll be a lot of chatter.

Libertarian-R New MA-5.  

[ Parent ]
I think she'd be a great VP pick


Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
The nominee would have to be a firebrand for balance
She is very mild mannered, and would not work as the ticket's attack dog.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
The VP role
Diversity on the ticket is more important than the traditional VP role. Democrats can't nominate two White men at this point, especially if Republicans don't.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Not sure she's a great pick for the national stage
Her style doesn't translate as well to big televised appearances, which is the VP's most important role. (And of which there are four: the announcement, the convention, the primetime interview, and the debate.) She strikes me more as a future Attorney General or Supreme Court justice.

Gillibrand would fit the VP slot better. The media would eat her up.


[ Parent ]
Agreed
I like Klobuchar, but I would really prefer Gillibrand.  I'm a big Gillibrand fan though.

Schweitzer/Gillibrand is probably my favorite 2016 possibility right now if Hillary doesn't run.

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat


[ Parent ]
Lautenberg statement
In statement, Lautenberg spox says this isn't time for "political distractions." Will decided on reelect next year.

26, Male, R, NY-10

Sounds like he's going quietly
This seat is probably off the table now; probably just as well though as it saves us quite a bit of cash.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Was off the table to start with


26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Nah
I'd have felt decently good about our chances if it was Lautenberg (especially after a bloody primary) vs. Kean Jr.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
I don't see it
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02...

Lautenberg announced his re-election in February 2010 while in the hospital. He retired once and hated retirement. I don't think he wants to do that again.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
You might be right
But if we are going to parse rockefellers statement might as well parse this one.

I think he retires.  

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat


[ Parent ]
When politicians reach their 80's
And they're still in office they often wouldn't have anything to do with their lives if they retired. If the only thing they'd want to do with their day is be in congress, why retire?  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Booker is formidible
Stanford, YLS, Rhodes Scholar, diverse, young, and by all accounts a good mayor. Time will tell if the star fades - as they often do - but we should be hoping Lautenberg stays in and calls in his favors for a bloody primary.

Libertarian-R New MA-5.  

Reid says he'll back Lautenberg unless he retires
Stops short of saying anything negative about Booker, but there are going to be a lot of uncomfortable Senate Dems if Lautenberg decides to hang on.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/...

34, R, CO-1 (Degette)


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