Just a day after Steve Lonegan picks up what unquestionably will be his biggest-name endorser (until/unless one of the Koch brothers come out of hiding) – the undoubtably squeamish Chris Christie – Cory Booker is making news with an endorsement of his own: the Leader of the Free World.
It’s really no shock that either Christie or Obama would publicly back their parties’ nominee. But there is a big difference in the quality of those endorsements.
Now that Christie has done his due diligence, it’s highly unlikely you’ll see him pal around with (or even comment much) on Lonegan’s come-from-the-far-right-nobody-serious-wanted-it candidacy. He’s already gone from NJ almost 25% of the time auditioning for 2016 GOP money people. And when he’s here (but especially when he’s there), he’s having a hard enough time navigating the knife edge between the crazy the big money expects of him (cancel NJ out of RGGI, clamp down on women’s health care funding, wobble the wrong direction on climate) and you know, actually governing in the job he was elected to in New Jersey (with the occasional bones thrown toward this socially progressive, distinctly un-Tea Party populace. He doesn’t want to get any Steve Lonegan cooties on himself. To say nothing of the fact that Christie’s favorables are riding high on federal Sandy disaster cash (and his Obama bromance) and Lonegan thinks struggling Sandy families are grubby beggars. Or something.
And then there’s Barack Obama. Obama actually likes Booker, which you can’t say about Christie and Lonegan. Booker’s relationship with the White House is both personal, through Obama himself and advisors Valerie Jarrett (and the DNC’s Executive Director, who advised him throughout the primary, despite his running against two seated U.S. congressmen) and ideologically. Booker even echoes Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to get himself and Newarkers fit.
And imperfect as he is, a meaningful endorsement from this president for the man who will be
the only African-American in the NJ congressional delegation? NJ’s first African-American senator? Way better Christopher James Christie on his best day.
Cory Booker for Senate.
Statement of President Barack Obama, endorsing Mayor Cory Booker for U.S. Senate – August 21, 2013:
“Cory Booker has dedicated his life to the work of building hope and opportunity in communities where too little of either existed. Whether as a college student working in East Palo Alto or as mayor of New Jersey’s largest city, Cory has time and again taken on tough challenges, fought for the middle class and those working to join it, and forged coalitions that create progress – and that’s the spirit he’ll carry with him to Washington.
“His passion for his city has helped create new jobs and attract some of America’s top businesses to Newark. Cory will be an important partner in our efforts to reduce gun violence, give every American a fair shot in a global economy, and make our country stronger.”
“I am humbled by President Obama’s endorsement,” Booker said. “If elected this October, I will go to the Senate to advance our shared vision of a nation where opportunity is available to anyone willing to work for it, and to ensure we’re investing in the priorities that helped build America’s middle class. The President has taken on the difficult fights. He worked to turn around our economy, to make high quality, affordable health care available to every American and to keep our country safe. I look forward to continuing to work with him to advance an agenda that spreads prosperity and ensures that our nation realizes the promise of its founding.”