Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I seem to recall William Simon, the...

...Secretary of the Treasury under Richard Nixon, getting asked once about a possible bid for the U. S. Senate from New Jersey. Simon, wearing his trademark Coke-bottle glasses, reportedly said, "I'd never want to be one of a hundred of anything." (I guess that's what you say when you have absolutely no chance of winning.)

But the former bond trader at Salomon Brothers (where he was one of a hundred managing directors) did have a point. And I think it's one that Cory Booker should have listened to.

In January I gave Booker some free advice in this blog, which he did not take (go figure):

If I were advising the mayor, I'd tell him to run for governor and run the cleanest, classiest, most issue-laden campaign ever. No negative ads, no personal stuff, nothin'. If Christie's popularity holds up, Booker would lose. But so what? He'd be only 43 years old and have a sterling image in New Jersey voters' minds (and with the national media). After four years in which Christie would presumably be running for president, Booker would be only 47 and well-positioned for another run. In 2020, he'd be 51. That's a perfect age for running for president.

(And now, with Christie's favorables so high, the New Jersey governor has a good chance to win in a landslide and be even better positioned for a White House run in 2016. At least Booker could have taken one for the team and bloodied him a little bit first.)

Instead, the mayor of Newark won the Democratic primary yesterday and is poised to win the special election next month. Booker will no doubt be just the latest Democrat from the Garden State to take his seat in the U. S. Senate.

And then ... Booker will be one of a hundred ego maniacs who stand very little chance of ever getting elected president. With hard work and a little luck he might chair some committees and go on the Sunday talk show circuit with those other famous show horses, John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

Is that what you want Mayor Booker? Really?

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