I sat back on Sunday afternoon and watched my TiVo’d recording of NBC’s “Meet the Press”. When it came time for the panel discussion, one of the panelists, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker said he found the diversionary campaign tactics of both parties “nauseating”. He said there was a proper place for private equity (in reference to Mitt Romney’s former place of employment, Bain Capital). He said that attacking a legitimate business instead of focusing on the issues was a mistake.
For speaking his mind and telling the truth, Mayor Booker has spent the better part of the last 24 hours explaining himself. The liberal pundocracy has gone bat-crap crazy over his remarks. I thought MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was going to have an aneurism.
What a damn shame. Isn’t it refreshing just once to see a campaign surrogate (as Booker plainly self-identified), tell the truth even at the risk of criticizing “his team”? Booker showing some shred of remaining integrity has only partly walked back his comments. Pro-Romney forces have already pulled a campaign ad together exploiting Booker’s supposed faux pas.
I say we need more of Cory Booker. This campaign is not about Reverend Jeremiah Wright or the President’s birthplace or the GOP candidate’s religion or the relative merit of the GOP candidate’s former employer. This campaign is first and foremost about who can accelerate this country’s economic recovery. Everything else is a side-show. To the extent that Romney uses Bain to prove he created jobs, it’s fair to examine the truth of that statement. But that doesn’t mean we need to condemn the role a company like Bain plays in our capitalist system. That is a distraction. Booker knew it and Booker said it.
I always liked Cory Booker but I’m a bigger fan of him today. We always talk about the grownup in the room. Cory is the grownup. This election is serious business and it’s time folks started treating it that way.
Photo via Wikipedia – David Shankbone