It wouldn’t be a bad idea for Newark Mayor Cory Booker to file those papers required to run, too.
Define “bad idea.” Booker would get smoked by Christie. It’s a (stupid) risk to raise your national profile by getting killed in a media-intensive race.
Well, since you’re asking.
Let’s assume, as is everyone else, that Gov. Christie is eyeing a 2016 presidential run. I’m not sure how he smokes someone as popular and seemingly capable as Booker in New Jersey without campaign from the middle, far away from all the wingnuts. (This isn’t 2010, and Booker is pretty much the antithesis of Jon Corzine.) And we just saw how the centrist governor of a blue state fared running Republican in a presidential race. Mitt Romney got annihilated.
That’s the political advantage of being a Democrat nowadays. Republicans who have national ambitions have to appeal to radical, Tea Party voters — the party’s base — eventually. Gov. Christie can run from the center-right and stand a good chance of earning another term as governor, but that would hurt his 2016 presidential aspirations. But running for governor on today’s GOP creed, which is radical conservatism, in order to set the table for 2016 makes his gubernatorial campaign more challenging. And Christie would have a tough time muddling moderate messages with Tea Party appeal in a campaign against Booker, a principled, straight-talking politician if ever there was one.
Either way, I don’t think a run at governor embarrasses Booker, so long as his campaign matches the general awesomeness of his Twitter account. From what I can observe, he seems like the kind of politician who embraces media attention and knows how to use the institutional press, as well as new forms of media, to his advantage. For him, some media exposure is good, and more is even better.
I guess this is mostly a post about 2016 presidential politics. I promised so many people I wouldn’t do this quite yet.