Monday, December 10, 2012

The choices we make

By Carl 

I don't envy Cory Booker his future.

I mean, I do, and I don't. He has the entire world paid out rather clearly in front of him (and I pray there's no secret that is going to derail his future, and what a sad commentary on American society that I have to even think that.)

Which means he has choices. Lots of them.

Right in front of him, in fact are two: he can run for governor of New Jersey, and have a tough battle ahead against an immensely... er, no pun intended... popular governor in Chris Christie, or he can cakewalk into the Senate.

To be sure, this choice is on his mind, as well:

Newark Mayor Cory Booker says he'll decide in two weeks whether he'll run for New Jersey governor or U.S. Senate.

Booker, a Democrat, said Monday on CNN that Chris Christie, a Republican who enjoys high approval ratings after Hurricane Sandy, is "vulnerable" in his re-election bid because of his stances on the environment and issues pertaining to women.

"Christie is vulnerable, as it should be, because there's a lot of issues in the state he's not falling in line with," Booker said on CNN's Starting Point program.

This 2013 race would pit Booker, an hugely popular mayor who would likely clean up in urban and ex-urban areas, particularly in northern New Jersey, against Christie's overwhelming popularity with white suburbanites and south Jerseyians.

Or, Booker can wait until 2014, and basically be annointed as replacement for Frank Lautenberg, who has already unretired once to serve in the U.S. Senate and will turn 89 before his seat comes up for election.

Or he can run for a third term as mayor of Newark, not something an ambitious and hard-working politician would relish, I think.

You begin to see the problem, I think. If he runs in 2013 and beats Christie, this pretty much takes him off the table for the 2016 Presidential race, another office I suspect he aspires to. If he runs in 2013 and loses, no harm no foul, he can run in 2014 for Lautenberg's seat, and then marshall national forces for a run at the presidency in 2020 or 2024, assuming Democrats run the table in yet another national election.

And if his eyes are on the biggest prize, he still might run for either of these offices on the assumption that all the attention he'd garner against the GOP's biggest fish... erm, no pun intended... would boost his standing for a slog through the 2016 primary season.

So he's cursed with options.

(Cross-posted to Simply Left Behind.)

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