Sure Governor Christie is, technically, a Republican, and Cory Booker is a popular Democrat, but in the net asset column, Christie did a lot for Obama’s reelection campaign, he may have even clinched it, while Booker undermined Obama by challenging the Bain narrative, leading many leftists to urge that he be forced to pay a price.
Obama needs a friendly Republican more than he needs a better version of himself making him look bad. Christie and Obama help each other. Booker on the other hand is moving toward the presidential track, and the deal between the Clintons and Obama was that Hillary would finally get her shot at the White House in 2016. Having Booker show up there to upstage her, the way that Obama upstaged her in 2008 would have been a major deal-killer.
Keeping Booker in the Senate doesn’t defang him, but it makes it a lot harder for him to do his usual social media shtick. And Booker has no real choice. His popularity in Newark is iffy after he spent a major chunk of his term outside the city, exploring his big picture options. Newark was only a bus stop for Booker to burnish his credentials as a reformer of the inner city on the road to the White House. To actually want to run Newark long term you have to be a corrupt machine politician and while Booker isn’t crystal clean, he’s nowhere near dirty enough to want the job.
Cory Booker is an impressive media figure, but he has proven to be no match for the Troika of Obama, Clinton and Christie.
The White House allegedly encouraged — or pressured — Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker to forego challenging New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in 2013 and instead run for the state’s Senate seat in 2014. Booker announced on Thursday he would be exploring a run for New Jersey’s Senate seat in 2014.
The Democrat said “the Obama administration appears to have started reaching out to Booker at the beginning of December”: “Cory’s hard to read, but when you have the White House and a collection of other people all saying the same thing to you, it becomes very hard to ignore. The establishment of the party was saying, ‘Cory, don’t run, you’re gonna lose,’”
Christie benefits greatly from Booker’s announcement. He not only does not have to face-off against the candidate that would have been his toughest opponent, but, with Booker not in the running, Christie will not have to lurch as far to the left in his reelection campaign as he would have had Booker challenged him. This means Christie, whom conservatives have already criticized for being too moderate, will be better positioned in the Republican presidential primary in 2016 should he choose to run for president.
During the 2012 presidential campaign, Booker irked, to put put it mildly, the Obama campaign when he went on NBC’s “Meet The Press” and said the Obama campaign’s attacks on private equity were “nauseating.” The White House immediately forced Booker to walk those comments back in a YouTube video.
Christie, though, after keynoting the Republican National Convention, helped the Obama administration by embracing Obama when Obama visited New Jersey in Hurricane Sandy’s wake. This moment allowed the partisan Obama to be perceived as more bipartisan than he had been during his first term in office in the last — and critical — week of the campaign.
Everything and everyone has a price.