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Mayor Cory Booker Flip Flops


By Dock Walls, @dockwalls

The Obama campaign has unleashed a crafty political strategy designed to paint Mitt Romney as a heartless protector of big business interests at the expense of working men and women. Talking points issued by the Obama campaign help Democrat spokesmen trash Romney’s record as head of Bain Capital. They strategically assail Mitt Romney’s claim that his private sector efforts created thousand of jobs. The goal is to destroy any credibility the Republican Presidential candidate has based upon his business experience and obscure his role as Massachusetts governor and as head of the Olympics.

To a member, Democrat party loyalists were happily walking in lock step, sounding the Romney fat cat businessman theme. However, Sunday, on NBC’s Meet the Press, Newark Mayor Cory Booker broke rank with party loyalists. In a strong statement that has now become fodder for the Romney campaign, Booker said, “I have to say, 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 undermine, to me, what this country should be focused on. It’s a distraction to 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 the American public cares about.”

The Romney campaign immediately took advantage of the opportunity created by Mayor Booker’s criticism of the Democrat party line. They circulated commercials featuring footage of Booker’s comments and launched an ad campaign centered around the theme, “I Stand With Cory.”

Later that day, in a three minute and forty-two second videotaped statement, Booker affirmed his support for Obama and offered heightened criticisms of the purported Republican plan to launch attack ads. “I was very frustrated this past week when I saw people dredging up the Reverend Wright, an already discussed issue from many, many years ago, and trying to bring it to the center stage as a means of trying to undermine and attack our President. issues campaign tactics. Furthermore, Booker insisted, “Mitt Romney has made his business record a centerpiece of his campaign. He’s talked about himself as a job creator. And, therefore, it is reasonable, and in fact I encourage it, for the Obama campaign to examine that record and to discuss it. I have no problem with that.”

Oddly, someone leaked to the media the fact that in 2002, during his first run for mayor, Booker received a total of $565,000 dollars in campaign contributions from firms and individuals affiliated with the financial sector, much of it from Bain Capital. There is speculation that the information leak was just a shot across the bow. Although the Obama campaign initially denied having called Mayor Cory Booker onto the carpet, he later admitted that he did get the domesticating call.

Arguably, Mayor Cory Booker’s initial statement on NBC was courageous. He emphatically expressed sentiments shared by a significant number of Americans. People who are are sick and tired of self-serving, cutthroat politics. Especially during this early Pre-Convention stage of the campaign, many people prefer to see and hear the candidates address the issues that affect their lives. Like Booker, they too are nauseated by negative campaign messages designed to destroy the character and reputation of their opponent.

Had Booker maintained his stance on this issue, he may have become a folk hero. However, his spineless flip-flop ruined any credibility he may have had. Bowing to pressure did Booker and Democrats more harm that good. Firstly, it demonstrates, in sharp relief, the intolerance and heavy handedness of the Obama campaign. Secondly, it gave the Republicans one more thing to point to as proof that the Democrats only care about winning. Lastly and most importantly, it has mortally wounded Booker and quite possibly ruined his political career.

On Sunday, Mayor Cory Booker committed political suicide. On Monday, the Obama campaign threw his carcass under the bus. By Tuesday, Romney was enjoying a clear advantage relative to the ads and news stemming from these unfolding events.

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