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Surprised nobody mentioned this, but yesterday afternoon Cory Booker announced he is running for Frank Lautenberg's old Senate seat.

Joined by former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, another Democrat and a mentor, Booker said it was time Washington encounter a politician who — like him and Bradley — rejects the belief that "D.C. is broken."

"I am here because I believe people who care can find solutions to even the most difficult problems," Booker said at a press conference in Newark. "I am here because, when we work together, I know from experience that there is no problem we can’t solve. I am here today because I know who we are and what we are capable of doing together for New Jersey and for this nation."

Watch the full announcement here:

CNN reports that Booker had begun collecting petition signatures to run in the special election as early as Thursday.

To put it mildly, Booker's nomination changes the complexion of the race.  Rush Holt is already in, and Frank Pallone has all but announced he's in as well.  While Booker only has $700,000 in the bank, he can easily increase that amount tenfold in a heartbeat.  The fact that Bradley has effectively put his thumb on the scale definitely helps as well.

That sound you heard was Chris Christie shooting up bolt upright in his chair.  His worst nightmare is now unfolding right before his eyes.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Now let us get a real Democrat please! (4+ / 0-)

    Corey Booker is pure trash. His abuse of the school system in Newark makes him 100% unfit to make law in DC. I'll be sending $ to Pallone.

  •  Considering that Booker is a Corporatist... (6+ / 0-)

    ...in the DLC mold, I hope one of his primary opponents win.

    The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

    by cybrestrike on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 06:20:58 AM PDT

  •  Why do you think this? (7+ / 0-)
    That sound you heard was Chris Christie shooting up bolt upright in his chair.  His worst nightmare is now unfolding right before his eyes.
    Cory was always in. The surprise is that Rush Holt is in. The race gets interesting if Pallone sits this one out.
  •  Yuk (6+ / 0-)

    Joe Lieberman could not have written a worse intro.

    I am here because, when we work together, I know from experience that there is no problem we can’t solve
    If people here think he will stand up for anything after reading this then they get what they deserve. He'll be palling around with Mccain and Graham within a week of getting there bemoaning the fact that people just can't get over party politics and work together.

    Blech.

  •  I don't get this part: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sandbox, Sue B, wdrath, VClib, NNadir
    That sound you heard was Chris Christie shooting up bolt upright in his chair.  His worst nightmare is now unfolding right before his eyes.
    I don't see a downside to this for Christie.  I don't think he seriously believed the GOP could take the seat, and, with the election taking place in October, it doesn't impact on his reelection chances in November.  Furthermore, between the three Democratic contenders, Booker is clearly the closest to Christie, both ideologically and personally.
  •  booker is a republican (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    profewalt, gooderservice, Mostel26

    booker will vote for any republican bill that he thinks will get him to higher office. he will work with the republicans in new jersey for the republicans. and of course that liar christie will have his man in the senate. do not vote for booker he is all about the presidential election in the future, if not in 16 then later. he will be an awful senator.

    •  I wouldn't go that far. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wdrath, Mostel26, mndan, Dirtandiron

      He's a Democrat.  He's liberal on some issues and conservative on some issues.  In many states, I think, he'd be considered a solid liberal.  But New Jersey isn't one of those states.  We should be able to do better.  

      I'm a little disappointed to see Bradley getting on board.  When he ran for president in 2000, I saw him as the anti-DLC candidate.

      •  Yes, a republican from 20 or so years ago and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron

        still a republican with a D after his name.

        He's liberal on some issues and conservative on some issues.
        •  How big do you think... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wdrath

          ...the Democratic Party would be if you kicked out everyone as conservative or more conservative than Booker?  
          If I lived in Mississippi, I'd be delighted to have Booker as my senator.  

          •  We're talking about New Jersey. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            profewalt, Dirtandiron

            If Booker takes Frank Lautenberg's seat, it will be just as disgusting as Brown taking Ted Kennedy's seat.

            And to answer your question:

            How big do you think the Democratic Party would be if you kicked out everyone as conservative or more conservative than Booker?
            If all the Democratic Party in the blue, blue, blue state of New Jersey can offer up is Booker, I don't think the Dem party will be very big at all.
      •  Why disappointed about Bradley? (0+ / 0-)

        Seems he is free to support whomever he wants.

        The fact that he backs Booker suggests Booker is not that terrible DINO that is typically portrayed here.

        Booker does indeed seem to be a solid liberal. Does he have some Wall St. backing? Sure, but so does Obama. His willingness to take on problems in Newark that most want to ignore is admirable to me.

    •  What an ridiculous and ignorant comment (0+ / 0-)

      It reminds me of the comments of some when Kristen Gillibrand was appointed and the chatter was she was a Conservadem and wrong for a state like New York. Is anyone complaining about that now?

      Booker is a Democrat. Is he a perfect Democrat to your liking? No. But he is a Democrat.

  •  Why is this Christie's worst nightmare? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, wdrath, Dirtandiron

    He's gotten everything he wants - Booker off the same ballot as him (which is why he timed the special election when he did), an easy walk to a second term in November and a plausible alibi for when the Tea Partiers take him to task over picking a placeholder Republican for the seat.

    His "worst nightmare" would have been to be forced into the election with Booker's name also on the ballot.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 06:59:15 AM PDT

  •  Sorry, NJ voter here (6+ / 0-)

    I'm in for Palone or Holt...Booker is in it for himself, lets see how fast he makes his first million or two if he becomes a senator. I would rather see a two man primary so the vote is not split and Booker walks away with it.

    Do something...marinedefenders.com

    by profewalt on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 07:04:54 AM PDT

  •  sounds too much like a Lieberman (5+ / 0-)

    Booker needs to PROVE to the Democratic wing of the Democratic party that he shares their progressive goals on policies.

    To date, he has been about gaining the support of the Wall Street crowd and the Lieberman wing of the Democratic Party.  Not seeing too much to like versus other more progressive Democrats in the primary.

    If GOP right-winger Lonegan is the Republican nominee, Booker may actually get the vote of Christie (tho Christie publicly could not support him and would have to give lip service support publicly to the GOP nominee whoever that is; what Christie would do in the privacy of the polling booth is different).

    THE KEY : will Booker bust his tail after October to campaign for Dem nominee Buono and down-ticket Democrats on the ballot, or as expected, will he do next to nothing.  

    Booker's in it for Booker, not also for the Democratic Party.

  •  D.C. is not broken (5+ / 0-)

    for bankers and Wall Streeters like Booker. "If we all work together, there is no problem we can't solve." I see lots of dinners with Mitch McConnell in his future.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 07:47:26 AM PDT

  •  Christie's worst nightmare? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    Could you please elaborate on what you mean that "Chris Christie's "worst nightmare is now unfolding right before his eyes"?

    Chris Christie created this scenario, with the full knowledge that Booker was likely to win the nomination and the seat...which was the entire reason that Christie decided to disrespect the entire African-American community by trying to get them more of them to vote in the special election in the hopes that they wouldn't turn out for the general election.

    How is this Christie's worst nightmare?

    In addition...a lot of folks here have been bemoaning Booker as a lilttle too...moderate/conservative for their tastes. Some of the things he's said and done in the past have bothered me, too (although, to be perfectly frank, it's hard for me to think of ANY politician, no matter how much they are liked by me, who hasn't disappointed me on one or more occasions).

    In any case...now...Bill Bradley, who positioned himself to the left of Al Gore in 2000 and was supported by many of the same folks who now bemoan Booker as too conservative...has endorsed Booker. Will the fact that Bradley's endorsed Booker help Booker with progressives? Is it likely that Booker may end up being more progressive as a statewide candidate/elected official than as just a mayor?

    •  Could Booker become more progressive? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, wdrath

      That's possible, I suppose, but it would make more sense if it was a Kirsten Gillibrand kind of thing, where someone is moving from representing a moderate-to-conservative constituency to a more liberal one.  Booker's the mayor of Newark, where Democratic candidates probably have more competition from the Socialist Workers Party candidate than they do from a Republican.  

    •  Christie worst nightmare is Cory Booker in Nov (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      profewalt, Dirtandiron, wdrath

      on the same ticket as Barbara Buono.  He fears that Booker's name will bring out lots of voters.  That's why the weasel moved the Senate election to a Wednesday in October.  What a lying swine!  He said he would never hold a special election that cost the taxpayers money.  Now he is pissing away 12 million dollars just because he is afraid of losing to Buono with Booker on the same ticket.  Asshole!  Christie is all about Christie.  He don't fool me for an instant.  He is a dedicated right winger who abandons his wing nut principles once they are inconvenient to him.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 08:33:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  absolutely... (0+ / 0-)

        ...and Buono and the Democratic Party would be smart to stick it to Christie...by having some prominent African-American or African-Americans on the ticket in November...and allow them all to explain to African-American voters how cynicially, blatantly, shamelessly disrespectful to the entire African-American community Christie was in doing this.

  •  The best candidate in this race is Rush Holt. (6+ / 0-)

    It's not even close.

    I've had a chance to speak to my congressperson up close on several occasions, and even when I've disagreed with him - and I have - I was impressed by his thoughtfulness and clarity of the thinking that he used.

    Holt has something that's really lacking in politics, especially in New Jersey, integrity, decency and a first class mind.

    He is, by the way, considered one of the most liberal members of the house of representatives, and has often gone out of his way to defend people and things that were unpopular when they were the right things and people to pretend.

    I'm an atheist and have no dog to hunt on this issue but his willingness to go the extra mile to defend, for instance, Muslims when hatred of Muslims was very popular in this country is a measure of his integrity.

    Booker is simply not in Holt's class.

    •  Absolutely! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NNadir, Mostel26, profewalt, Dirtandiron

      I would hate to lose him as my Congressional Rep but he would be the best Senator.  Frank is fine too.  I met both numerous times and like them both.  I don't trust Cory.  I think he is just too business friendly. Mind you if he ends up being our candidate I will back him (especially against the likes of Lonegan, Kyrillios, Kean junior, etc...)

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 08:29:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NNadir - the good news (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NNadir, virginislandsguy

      is that he can take a shot at the Senate without giving up his seat in the House.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 08:31:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. I loved Frank Lautenberg but the... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        ...timing of his death makes it possible for us to keep our Congressman if he doesn't make it to the Senate.

        But damn!   I still want him to win!   This man deserves a place on the national stage!!!!

  •  I would rather have Holt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NNadir, Mostel26, profewalt, Dirtandiron

    but Pallone is acceptable as well.  I don't trust Cory.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 08:26:45 AM PDT

  •  What has Booker done for Newark? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    Ive worked in Newark NJ in a variety of capacities for over 20 years. I work part time as a pianist and Ive played with several Salsa bands in Newark as well as several different sorts of jazz ensembles. Ive performed for the Newark politicians many times, for fundraisers, campaign events, and while riding alongside them on floats in parades...especially the Portuguese day parade which coincidentally is taking place while I write this now.

    But Im also an academic who has worked at colleges in Newark as an adjunct professor for 15 years as well. And I parlayed all off this into my PhD dissertation about the Latino community of Newark.

    Ive spent alot of time looking at Newark from the bottom up and from the kitchens and lobbies. And Ive met all the politicians over the last 20 years. I could tell stories about the previous Mayor, Sharp James, that might get me sued. Sharp reminded me of the little I know of Reverend Ike from the 70s...or perhaps more so of Richard Pryor's parody of Rev Ike.

    And Cory Booker was the most likeable politician I have ever met (and the only one to make sure "the band" had water when playing for 4 hours under the hot sun). But as I have seen things improve in Newark since the early 1990s (actually my relationship to Newark goes back to the late 80s...but I didnt start to really work there until the 90s)...I have to say that I would credit much of this to things Sharp did more than Booker.

    Shoveling snow, making sure people are Ok in a storm...these things go a long way for a city whose population often feels abandoned. Forget the contrast to Christie...here in Jersey we all know assholes like him, people who might actually step up and help you in a jam but are other wise too abrasive to want hang around unless you yourself are similarly abrasive...simply the contrast to Sharp James can make some folks adore Booker.

    I go back to Newark intensely in July and August (the long ride from Jersey City lol)...its time for some new political ethnography. More to come....

    I cant tell if its a West End musical or Marxism in action.

    by Evolution on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 10:34:14 AM PDT

  •  This is no surprise to anyone, especially Christie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, VClib

    Why do you think he scheduled the special election a month before his own? He doesn't want Booker anywhere near a ballot that he's on, because Booker could jeopardize his own reelection.

    And this officially ends the race, because with Holt and Pallone (and possibly more) in the race, the anti-Booker vote will be split and Booker will cake-walk to the nomination. The general will just be a formality, especially since Kean Jr. and others have passed and the only declared GOP candidate is Steve Lonergan, who's been described as NJ's version of Christine O'Donnell.

    Holt and Pallone fans may not like to hear it, but it's the cold truth. Congrads, Senator Booker.

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