Cory Booker, surrogate from hellIf you have national ambitions in American politics but you don't happen to have a political base that thinks it would be a mighty fine thing to roll America back to the Bronze Age, then you have to make the Centrist trolls under the Washington Beltway bridge happy.
What Cory Booker has to gain by calling President Obama’s attacks on Bain Capital “nauseating”
BY STEVE KORNACKI
If Cory Booker went on “Meet the Press” on Sunday with the intent of helping President Obama, then his appearance was an utter failure. But anyone who’s followed the enormously ambitious Newark mayor’s career closely knows he’s not one to pull a Joe Biden. He’s just too smart and too smooth to screw up so epically.
More likely, Booker went on the show to help himself and to advance his own long-term political prospects. And on that score, his appearance was a success.
You’ve probably seen or are now seeing the headlines Booker generated by calling the Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s private equity background “nauseating” and likening them to efforts by some on the right to inject Rev. Jeremiah Wright into the campaign.
“Enough is enough,” Booker said. “Stop attacking private equity. Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright.”
Which means you have to make people like David Brooks and Tom Friedman swoon.
And the only coin of that realm is punching hippies.
I expect phrases like "bold", "brave", "Sister Soulja", "heroic" (which Mayor Booker's previous actions have certainly been) and "true postpartisanship" to be interjected at key points. I expect the lead paragraphs will briefly recapitulate Mayor Booker's good works, after which I expect that Mr. Brooks will bridge into something like "but if Cory Booker thought running into burning buildings was dangerous...something something...run afoul of David Axelrod's war machine...". I expect this will be followed by a tumble of paragraphs excoriating Barack Obama for something like "his Chicago-style thuggish politics", all while staying carefully shielded behind Mr. Booker's shiny mayoral armor.
The reason I expect all of this is that this is Mr. Brooks' bread-and-butter-and-catnip: sniping from cover and hippie punching is exactly how he used his support for George W. Bush and the Iraq war to trade up from a minor column in the "Weekly Standard" to a major column in the "New York Times".
But of course I have been wrong before.