May 22nd, 2012
By Silena Parthemenco -- It was surprising to see Cory Booker in effect turn suddenly, bare his political teeth
and try to take a bite out of President Obama's Presidential campaign -- because it might create some quick, short-term political and financial capital for him personally and for his political aspirations generally -- with bankers and private equity behemoths in New Jersey and New York City.
What was even more surprising was the degree to which seizing a fleeting moment of self-aggrandizement and opportunity so quickly
and totally dominated his consciousness when the split-second opportunity presented itself. Then, like the tireless self-promoter and megalomaniac that most politicians are -- love of hearing his won voice propound on weighty subjects like "capital" and "financial management" appeared to take over and crowd out the higher, more considered thought processes presumed to lurk in the recesses of the frontal cortex. He jumped at the chance to show himself superior to the President when it came to understanding and appreciating the nuances of high finance. He most certainly could not have minded that it made him look like a good guy to shower with campaign money and other forms of political dog food that mongrel politicians are addicted to.
Of course he quickly realized he had embarrassed himself, but obviously decided it was worth it to be seen as the good guy to rich guys who back political campaigns -- Republican and Democrat -
- until he saw that his fame for supporting and defending Romney (inadvertent or not) had spread all the way to the front page of the Romney campaign's website). That's when the oops set in. Booker had been asked almost immediately to come on the talking heads circuits and explain his bizarre statements -- and dismissively declined. Then the backlash began. Calls came in from the White House and the Obama Campaign potentates. Remorse -- shock -- anger -- disbelief -- and self-righteousness quickly followed.
He summarily went on the cable news circuit and denounced what he called as the "taken out of context injustice'.
He stole the "Stand By Cory" line from Republican websites and challenged Republicans and Romney supporters to "Stand by Him" for same-sex equality, for helping inner-city poor in gritty New Jersey urban areas. He pointed out the he was "for" same-sex equality way before the President even thought of it - once again unwittingly presenting himself as more qualified than the President in a few areas. Something on his mind? He stammered, floundered, reiterated again and again his democratic and liberal/progressive credentials. Huff and puffed about being exploited by those mean unconscionable Republicans. The same ones he was loving up to a couple of days before.
He claimed a little self-righteously -- arrogantly perhaps -- that his progressive credentials were above reproach
-- that he was rock solid with the White House -- and that no one from the White House or the Obama campaign would even have dared to call him, or call him out -- or body-check him on the cavalier attitude and self-promotion he displayed in under-mining and refuting the central contrast the Obama campaign is drawing right now between the life work and business practice of Mitt Romney and the best practices of a real President of the United States.
I am sure Cory Booker has learned something from this. Regrettably for Mr. Booker. Progressives and Democrats have also learned
something as well. And most of what they learned neither adds to Mr. Booker's personal stature -- nor complements their former perception of his political acumen -- and party loyalty.
I did not know much about Cory Booker before this happened -- with the exception of the fact that he had courage and was capable of acting quickly and decisively when need be -- like the case of a burning house and risking your own welfare to help rescue people. And that was all good. Now -- not so much, really! Sorry, Cory.