Sunday, May 20, 2012

Loyalty To Self

Somebody should be held accountable.  

On Meet The Press (transcript of roundtable discussion here) today, Obama surrogate Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ, maintained

...As far as that stuff, I have to just say from a very personal level, I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity. To me, it's just this--we're getting to a ridiculous point in America, especially that I know. I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, it ain't--they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses, And this, to me, I'm very uncomfortable with.

Not satisfied that viewers wouldn't understand that the professional career of the (soon-to-be) GOP presidential nominee is irrelevant, Booker a few minutes later stated

But the last point I'll make is this kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. It's nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity, stop attacking Jeremiah Wright. This stuff has got to stop because what it does is it undermines, to me, what this country should be focused on. It's a distraction from the real issues. It's either going to be a small campaign about this crap or it's going to be a big campaign, in my opinion, about the issues that the American public cares about.

(Sarcasm Alert) Oddly enough, the American public cares about jobs.    Mitt Romney has claimed he and Bain Capital "were able to help create over 100,000 jobs."    He has offered no evidence to support the claim, nor has he clarified whether the job gain was net or gross.     In the unlikely event, the vulture capitalist helped create 100,000 jobs, it is as likely it helped lose 100,000 jobs.     The centerpiece of Romney's campaign is his claimed ability to bolster the economy- and not based on his record as governor of Massachusetts (from which he has run at every opportunity) but on his professed business acumen and experience.    And the mayor of Newark calls that "a distraction from the real issues."

But the Obamites shouldn't have been surprised.    Cory Booker's goal is not the promotion of the re-election of Barack Obama but the promotion of himself.     Booker once called charter school activists "modern-day freedom fighters," apparently confusing them with the likes of George Washington, Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel, and Fannie Lou Hamer.     He has periodically aligned himself with the right-wing governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, in word and in video, and is widely assumed in New Jersey to have his sights on a run for either governor or U.S. senator.     Salon's Steve Kornacki recognizes Booker's plunge into the sewer of false equivalence is not a gaffe and "hardly means he made a mistake, at least in terms of his own ambition."    He explains

Financial support from Wall Street and, more broadly speaking, the investor class has been key to Booker’s rise, and remains key to his future dreams.

It’s easy to forget, but before the world met Barack Obama in 2004, many believed that the first black president would be Booker. Armed with Stanford, Yale and Oxford degrees and all of the invaluable personal connections he forged at those institutions, he set out in the mid-1990s to craft a uniquely appealing political biography, swearing off lucrative job offers to move to Newark’s Central Ward and take up residence in public housing. Within a few years, he won a seat on the City Council, where he showed an early and consistent knack for self-generated publicity, most notably with a ten-day hunger strike in the summer of 1999.

That set the stage for Booker’s 2002 race for mayor, an ugly contest against incumbent Sharpe James, an entrenched icon of the city’s civil rights generation of black politicians. James, as any self-respecting Newark mayor would do, leveraged his clout for campaign contributions from city workers, vendors and those who aspired to be city workers and vendors.

Booker, meanwhile, had hardly lost touch with his old classmates, keeping one foot in Newark and the other in Manhattan, where he built on the connections to elite donors that he already had. He called the millions of dollars he raised for the race “love money.” The press – and James’ campaign – took note that almost all of it was from outside Newark, nearly half of it was from outside New Jersey, and a quarter of it came directly from Wall Street.

Booker lost that election, but was handily elected mayor four years later.       Six years later, the only cause Cory Booker is interested in is Cory Booker and he is lasciviously eyeing Wall Street cash.    If the Obama campaign was unaware of that, it has only itself to blame. |

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