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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Barack Obama & Cory Booker In 2012! Dream Team? Black Voters

On The 2012 Democratic Ticket Wouldn't It Be GREAT To See Barack Obama & Cory Booker Campaigning As President & Vice-President?

Someday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream Will Fully Manifest.


Now Just How Bad Does Pres. Obama Actually Need Mayor Cory Booker's Help To Win In 2012?

Black Leaders Like Cory Booker Might Be Key To Another "Obama Tsunami" As It Was In 2008.

Will It Be Cory Booker & Other Black Leaders To Obama's Rescue?

Stay Tuned.

Want to See Obama’s Future? Take a Look at Cory Booker

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is converting campaign inspiration into capable governance.

Cory Booker was the Obama of American politics before Barack Obama leaped onto the national stage. When Booker first ran for mayor of Newark in 2002, Barack Obama was a relatively unknown Illinois state senator. It would be two more years before Obama’s keynote address at the Democratic National Convention would transform him into an international star.

But Booker, a fresh-faced former Rhodes Scholar and graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School, was already being lauded—in the national press, on Wall Street, and in Hollywood, as well—as the face of a new generation of post-civil-rights, post-baby-boomer (in style, if not exactly in fact) African-American politicians who would march America into a glorious new day. (Other rising stars in this cohort include Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Alabama Rep. Artur Davis, and Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty).

Booker lost his first mayoral race to longtime incumbent Sharpe James, a scandal-plagued, wily, streetwise old-fashioned pol and former gym teacher who denounced Booker as an Uncle Tom—and as an interloper (Booker grew up in the suburbs) far removed from Newark’s tough streets.

Four years later, as Booker’s campaign donations and popularity surged, Sharpe opted out of trying for a sixth term. Booker swept into office and Sharpe—long an object of suspicion and ugly rumors—eventually went to prison (from which he was recently released) for fraud and conspiracy after he failed to disclose he was romantically involved with a woman he helped buy nine plots in a city redevelopment zone between 2001 and 2005.

Booker’s success at turning inspirational rhetoric into effective governance might well provide something of a template for Obama. And last week, as Booker basked in the afterglow of his recent reelection for a second term, I asked him to reflect on what he has done. “Four years ago, I was really selling … the rather ephemeral qualities of hope and possibility. ‘Believe in me. Believe in us.’ And those are all important things,” he said. “But when you have nothing to back it up with, it made it very difficult … Now I can talk not just about what we’re going to do, but point to examples of what we’ve done.”

He has plenty to boast about, as The Star-Ledger, Newark’s newspaper, pointed out in endorsing him: “Under Booker, gun violence in Newark has been cut in half. The city payroll has shrunk by 17 percent.

New parks have sprouted up across the city. The Housing Authority has been brought back from the dead, and the pace of new construction of affordable housing has picked up. New programs have helped hundreds of released prisoners find jobs, arranged financing for small businesses and helped families combat foreclosure. The list of innovative programs goes on.”

But Booker can hardly rest on his laurels. Along with the state of New Jersey—and the federal government itself—Newark is facing crushing deficits. And like his political counterparts across the country, Booker’s aspirations are circumscribed by this new age of austerity. The government “can no longer do it all … We can’t do what we used to do,” he said. “Resources are shrinking … Personnel costs are skyrocketing, [along with] health-care costs, pension costs.

So revenues are not meeting expenses and it’s getting worse every day, which is going to force us to shrink the size of government because we just can’t afford it. And we definitely can’t tax our way out of this problem.” So the future, as he see it, lies in creating “new paradigms, for not only service delivery but for community success.”

It is not just in Newark, and not just in the area of urban finance, that new models are needed. In a new study focused on metropolitan America, the Brookings Institution pronounced the dawning of a “decade of reckoning,” during which urban America would have to face tough issues largely ignored for years: “The economic roller coaster of the past 10 years has distracted the United States and its major metropolitan areas from grappling with the urgent implications of the longer-run shift afoot in our society.

Issues such as how to support communities with rapidly aging populations, how to meet family and labor-market needs through immigration, how to build workforce skills to maintain American economic leadership, and how to help lower-paid workers support themselves and their families cannot go unaddressed for another decade,” declared Brooking’s researchers.

Booker has already proven he can govern; the challenge of his second term will be to prove that he can lead, that he can breathe new life into an old city—and, in the process, help create a new model (or “new paradigms,” as he calls them) for the urban areas that growing numbers of Americans call home.

One reason Christie might still run for president: Newark’s Cory Booker

If he’s not running for president, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may instead face a re-election challenge that has the potential to derail his political career.

Some Democrats are hoping that Cory Booker, the popular mayor of Newark, will rise to the occasion and run against one of the nation’s best known fiscal conservatives. “Democrats are salivating over a potential Booker-Christie matchup,” Democratic strategist Paul Begala told TheDC. “Cory is still little known outside of North Jersey…and yet he is running even with the poster boy of the right.”

Begala points to a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling that shows Christie and Booker tied with 42 percent of the vote, despite the fact that 38 percent of New Jersians are unfamiliar with Booker. According to PPP’s Dean Debnam, Christie “was elected largely because of [former governor] Jon Corzine’s unpopularity and he could have a lot more trouble against someone well liked such as Booker.”

Although the election is still two years away, Booker’s strong record and attractive persona make him a Democratic dream candidate. Under his leadership, Newark’s murder rates have plummeted. Meanwhile, Christie’s massive budget cuts have garnered both praise and fierce criticism in his home state, making him a hero to many on the right while potentially leaving him vulnerable to a strong Democratic challenger.

“Booker is the best hope to win back the Statehouse from a Republican who has far surpassed the public’s expectations,” said one Democratic operative based in New York. “If he runs, Christie is left with a very tough decision: prematurely run for national office, or gamble his political future against one of the most promising and gifted figures in politics today.”

According to the operative, defeating Christie, the scourge of New Jersey’s powerful public employee unions, will be a top priority for Democrats nationwide in 2014. “I doubt the national party will resist this opportunity,” she said.

Could a potential challenge from Booker influence Christie’s decision? Although he has repeatedly insisted that he has no interest in a 2012 White House run, Christie still does well in early presidential polls. His popularity among independents and even some Democrats has at least one poll indicating that he would be the strongest Republican candidate against Obama, but that doesn’t seem to have nudged Christie any closer to running. When asked about the poll showing him winning in a race against Obama, Christie said it was good news for the president because “the only person who’s beating him in the poll will once again declare that I’m not running for President of the United States.”

Even if he decides against a run, there are still ways Christie could ditch Trenton for the national scene. Possible Republican candidate Mitt Romney met with Christie at the New Jersey Governor’s mansion on Monday night, along with “nearly two dozen” advisors and Republican Party leaders, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. Some have speculated that Christie might be interested in the vice presidency next year, but Romney, a Northeastern Republican often criticized as too moderate for the GOP’s conservative primary electorate, might not be likely to choose a running mate who shares so many of his percieved weaknesses.

Christie has been knocked by conservatives for his support of Rep. Mike Castle, a moderate, in Delaware’s GOP senate primary last year; his appointment of a Muslim lawyer to New Jersey’s judiciary; and his openness to the construction of the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.” Tom Marr, filling in for the host on Mark Levin’s popular afternoon radio show last week, went so far as to call him “a fake, a phony, and a fraud.”

Still, in the midst of what many have called a weak Republican field, Christie’s apparent ability to mount a strong challenge to Obama could be a deciding factor. The modern GOP has a long record of nominating comparatively moderate candidates for president: Bob Dole, George W. Bush, and John McCain all came from the more centrist, compromise-accepting wing of the Party. And even though he rules out a 2012 campaign, Christie always stops short of saying he will never run for president.

“I’m going to need a job … after 2013, you know?” Christie said on Meet the Press last year. “So whether it’s going to be governor of New Jersey or something else, it’s going to be doing something. So maybe it will be doing that. Who knows?”

So where does Christie go from here? Given that no major Republican candidate has formally entered the race, he could always change his mind about a White House run. With Booker waiting in the wings, taking his chances nationally might start to look like an attractive option.

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Sources: Daily Caller, Eurweb, MSNBC, Newsweek, Philosotry, South Korea Times, Sundance Channel, Youtube, Google Maps

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