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The Third Way Candidate


If Tom Friedman and Matt Miller ever do get their centrist third party started up, they can pair Cory Booker with Erskine Bowles for electoral gold. This morning on Meet the Press, Booker attacked the Obama campaign for exposing Romney’s record at Bain Capital, saying ““I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses — to grow businesses. And this to me, I’m very uncomfortable.”

Democrats for Bain Capital! Well, between this and saving that woman from the fire, at least Booker has probably put himself on the short list for Andrew Cuomo’s VP in 2016.

……..Kornacki suggests Booker’s performance was a stunt of self-promotion since he wants to get extra cozy with private capital in order to fund a likely run for the Senate in 2014. Could be.

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  • c u n d gulag

    If Jim feckin’ Cramer’s to your left on a position, Mayor Booker, you might, you know, want to either rethink what you’re saying, or, just to be on the safe side – stfu!

    Why can’t Democrats play this “Politics” game?
    Was it Carter or Clinton who lost the rule book?

    • Seriously, somebody forgot to put the playbook back where they found it.

    • timb

      republicans have a playbook, because they punish heterodoxy, no matter who does it. I’m pretty annoyed at Booker here, but I’d rather not have the Dems become the R’s

      • Why? Out of some kind of principle? Me, I’d rather see a party dedicated to fighting evil. And one that was effective. Like the Republican Party for instance. Except they are pro-evil. But you get the point.

    • Cramer, when he’s not being a douche, which is rare, is pretty liberal. I remember when he ate crow on The Daily Show, but during that interview, he showed he sort of got it.

  • BobS

    As opposed to Democrats for Private Equity, like Obama for instance.

    • Oh come on, just because Obama was the preferred candidate of investors in 2008 and is looking to them for the lion’s share of his donations in 2012!

      Obama to Bankers: I’m Standing ‘Between You and the Pitchforks’

      • ar

        Don’t knock that argument. Historically, “me or the pitchforks” is one of the most effective ways to get liberal reforms through. I have long suspected that one reason the biz establishment turned against even mild liberalism in the 1970’s and ’80’s was that enough time had passed that they lost the institutional memory of things like bombs being planted in Wall Street, ex-Governors being murdered, or states having the SPA come in second in the Presidential vote.

        • Linnaeus

          You also get the problem of what Ralph Nader called “the liberals’ dilemma”: the success of liberal reforms becomes an argument for why you don’t need them anymore.

          (But you do, of course, because when they’re taken away, the liberal status quo doesn’t hold.)

          • Bill Murray

            you get that one a lot for unions. They were important 100 years ago, but not needed now

            • Linnaeus

              Oh, definitely. I got involved in organizing two unions, and that was an argument we’d hear sometimes.

          • DrDick

            Everybody wants to pretend that this battle is not eternal. There is no war but class war and it never ends. Never.

            • Yes.

            • Taj Mahalo

              There is no war but class war and it never ends.

              Normally, I’m opposed to bumper stickers on principle, but this would make a pretty excellent bumper sticker.

        • Historically, “me or the pitchforks” is one of the most effective ways to get liberal reforms through.

          Though when we said “Commies” instead of pitchforks, it worked better. The fall of the Soviet Union wasn’t bad for liberals because it proved anything about liberalism; it was bad for liberals because liberals were no longer the lesser of two evils, as far as conservatives were concerned.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Yes, if we really want to stick it to banks, Ron Paul’s your man. Getting rid of job-killers like the SEC, the federal income tax, and the Civil Rights Act will really show them who means business!

        • BigHank53

          Yeah, but he’ll get rid of the Federal Reserve and all their nasty fiat-currency stabilization. Because the real problem is that our economy is too boring! Wait until Goldman-Sachs starts issuing their own dollars!

      • david mizner

        Yes, Booker is an Obama Democrat.

        • joe from Lowell

          You can tell by how he criticized Obama.

  • creature

    I wonder how much $$$ Booker got from Bain? Did Bain ‘save’ some sort of business in his city? Whenever I hear an out-of-character utterance by a any politician, I figure there’s money involved in the statement. In today’s Amurkkkin political system, money talks, principles stagger into traffic and get run over. Repeatedly.

    • Kal

      That might be a little too conspiratorial – too easy to get caught. I think this is more likely a play for Wall Street money and centrist cred (correlation here is not a coincidence) for some future campaign for a higher position. I mean, seriously, this one controversy only ups his chances at a nomination for something important, right?

      • Linnaeus

        This Salon article pretty much makes that argument: Booker is positioning himself for a run at governor or the Senate and needs to soothe the folks who will kicking in a lot of money for his campaign, should he run.

    • Bill Murray

      The answer is here http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/05/21/paid-for-in-full/

      and is at least $36,000

  • TT

    This reverence for an “industry” that exists purely because of an (embarrassing) accident in the tax code is as baffling as it is destructive. I guess the almighty dollar really is almighty.

  • Yeah, I saw that. Way to go from superhero to superzero, Hooker.

  • Murc

    I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity.

    If Booker has a quote where Obama indicts private equity, I’d like to see it.

    If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses — to grow businesses.

    No. They haven’t. If they had been, this would be laudable. Investing in productive enterprise is generally helpful. Wanting greater investment in productive enterprise is why so many of us were clamoring were a larger stimulus.

    Bain has only ever done that by accident.

    • DrDick

      I wish Obama would indict private equity, as in practice, it is the very essence of predatory capitalism.

      • chris

        Obama hasn’t indicted anyone — that’s one of the main enduring criticisms of him, isn’t it?

        • Kal

          Hey, he’s indicted plenty of whistleblowers!

        • rea

          You need a grand jury to indict people–the president isn’t allowed to (but I’m sure that if he wasn’t a conservative wimp, he’d do it anyway).

          • Bill Murray

            no you don’t — the second definition of indict is

            to charge with an offense or crime; accuse of wrongdoing; castigate; criticize


            so the President can accuse of wrongdoing, castigate or criticize without need for a grand jury

  • Davis X. Machina

    Harold Ford Jr. was a little bit too early.
    Corey Booker’s going to be a little bit too late.

    There’s just one Obama, and that’s all there’ll ever be.

    • One president who asserts the right to kill any American for any reason is much more than enough.

      • Malaclypse


      • timb

        yeah, I bet he will be the only one. President Romney will repudiate that, I bet

        • DrDick

          But President Paul will only allow the individual states do that!

  • Pingback: Cory Booker Values Centrist Money More Than His Own Life « Look At This Fucking Centrist()

  • James E Powell

    As long as it results in getting money, attention, and the designation of ‘serious’ by the Village, people like this will say things like this.

  • shah8

    Cory Booker has *always* been like that. He’s just liked because he’s not evil.

  • wengler

    Every person seeking higher office must get their sponsors.

    It’s not as if the 99 percent has even half the power as the 1 percent.

  • Steve S.

    Booker’s performance was a stunt of self-promotion

    More likely it was simply a case of going off-script. Obama’s campaign press secretary, Ben LaBolt, said of the anti-Bain ads, “we’re not questioning the private equity as a whole—the private equity industry as a whole. We’re questioning Mitt Romney’s economic philosophy.” And of course Obama happily accepts donations from people in private equity. So Booker was supposed to say something like what LaBolt said but ended up only saying half of it, and now all the liberal blogs I’ve read today have decided he needs to go into timeout for a news cycle.

    • DocAmazing

      Up until then, he was going like a house afire.

  • The Fool

    I don’t know very much about Newark’s economy, but how much of it depends on money from people working in the Financial Industry? I’m thinking more like mid/low-level stock brokers living in Newark for cheaper housing, support staff for the financial industry, etc.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Most of urban Northern New Jersey is one giant back-office for the FIRE industry.

      • The Fool

        Then yeah, sending him out to be a surrogate at this time was a dumb idea on the Obama campaign’s part. Even putting aside his personal/political views, he’s representing a city highly dependent on FIRE and can’t afford to do anything to piss off the basis of his city.

  • He’s backed off and “clarified” his remarks.


    I have no idea what he’s saying here. It’s a nonsensical, rambling mess. Booker has been riding high for a while. I guess he had to step on his dick eventually.

    I like him. He’s about as genuine as politicians get these days. I hope he learns from this and moves forward.

    • I’ll be curious as to how this affects him going forward.

      But let’s be clear, regardless of how “genuine” he is, he’s centrist as hell. He makes Obama look like Norman Thomas.

      • Bill Murray

        How does that compare to making Obama look like Evan Thomas? That apple fell a long way from the tree

      • I suspect Booker is positioning himself for a future Senate and/or Presidential run. His timing belt misfired on this, tho. He’s one election too early to run his mouth on the incumbent Democrat.

  • Tired of Fake D’s

    Corporate Republicans pretending to be progressive Democratic candidates isn’t “genuine”, let him put an (R) behind his name if he wants to fluff the most toxic part of Republican Romney’s record.

    Romney’s Bain destroyed American jobs, destroyed good American companies, and ate the profits like a snake eating a sleeping child.

    Corey Booker justed outed himself as a corporate whore for a particularly evil and destructive corporation.

    • eric from cleveland

      Correct. But the outing happened when he put the (d) next to his name not when he opened his mouth. And before I get flamed, I do realize that dems are better than the gop on most important issues (well important to me at least). Just standing up to corporate interests is not one of them.

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