Here’s Cory Booker on the Maddow Show for those who missed it. Rachel’s intro is actually better than the Booker interview, especially the part where she lists the off-message gaffes made by Romney endorsers.
I don’t think Booker did himself any favors. First, I don’t know who he thinks will be inspired by the “independent Democrat” label that he’s given himself, since the Democratic base sees that as code for “I’ll shit on any Democrat if it helps me” and most everyone else sees it as a weak inability to pick a side. I also don’t see it as an excuse here, because he chose to be Obama’s surrogate, and if he was too “independent” to stick to the talking points, maybe he should have just stayed off of MTP.
His attempt to turn his criticism of the Obama campaign into a more general criticism of negative campaigning is also pretty weak. It’s pretty obvious that this never works–it just leads to reporters to ask you if you’re engaging in “negative campaigning” the next time you criticize someone, because there’s nothing the DC media loves more than a Democrat fighting with one hand tied behind his back.
If you’re a politician from the New York metro area, you need to be palatable to Wall Street without appearing to be a total money whore sellout. Booker didn’t get the job done, and it’s not that hard a job to do. One way to do it is to say that being part of Bain doesn’t make you a job creator without saying that private equity is bad (Obama showed how that’s done)
Another way to handle it is to point out that Romney is talking about Bain because he can’t talk about his real political experience as Governor of Massachusetts. Even Chris Wallace gets this, in a Fox News Sunday question that might be in the news if Booker hadn’t pooped himself:
Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts for four years, Congressman Ryan. And during that time, Massachusetts ranked 47th of the 50 states in job creation. The only reason the unemployment rate went down [was] because so many people left the work force — more than any other state in the country except Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Is that a record to be proud of?”
Romney’s success in Massachusetts, Romneycare, is another thing he’s running away from. Both of those topics would have been a nice pivot to get Booker out of talking about his private equity contributors. Instead, here he his, trying to unfuck what shouldn’t have been fucked in the first place.