Have you heard about the new dance craze sweeping the nation? It’s called the Cory Booker Backwalk, and it goes something like this:
1) Put your foot in your mouth. Do this by calling “nauseating” and “ridiculous” the completely legitimate questions being asked by the Obama campaign about Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital. Bain is a cornerstone of Romney’s message, so what makes the topic unsavory isn’t exactly clear. Maybe, like Steve Kornacki points out, Booker just doesn’t want to anger his many friends (and potential future friends, wink wink) in the finance sector.
2) Take your foot out of your mouth. Do this by frantically publishing a YouTube video intended to squish any notion that Booker would say such a silly thing. Call it a clarification, even if it’s essentially a complete reversal.
Got it? Good, because the Booker Backwalk is all over the news today, and you don’t want to miss out. His pals at Morning Joe think it’s no big deal and are holding out hope for another video of Booker and Christie running hand-in-hand through a meadow. At CNN they have reported that Booker is “Backtracking Bigtime.” And Talking Points Memo is focusing more on how Booker’s gaffe/possible moment of too much candidness gives Republicans new ammo no matter how you slice it.
It’s interesting that coverage of this debacle casts Booker as a progressive Democrat. Think Progress, for example, calls Booker the “popular and progressive” mayor of Newark, even though Booker’s take on one of the biggest issues of the day – education reform – is in square alignment with Republican governors like Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Mitch Daniels and Tom Corbett. Journalist Glen Ford has reported on Booker’s direct ties to the right’s agenda of privatization and union-busting. Just two weeks ago, Booker spoke at a pro-school voucher event sponsored by ALEC. Progressive?
Glen Ford doesn’t think so. In fact, Ford calls Booker “a major player in a huge historical saga in which the corporate right successfully bought its way deep into Black American politics.” That saga, argues Ford, is at the root of the current attack on public education in NJ and across the U.S. Watch and think: