Why Cory Booker Confuses Me

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Cory Booker is an outstanding politician and an even more amazing human being.  The man proclaimed to be “Baby Obama” has more friends than I’ll ever have and is one of the most respected and creative local politicians in America.  In fact, if I were a light-skinned, bald guy who wanted to be just like Barack, I’d act like Cory Booker.

The world was buzzing after Booker made a really interesting snafu on “Meet the Press” (you might have heard about it).  During a conversation about Bain Capital, the company that might become the bane of Mitt Romney’s existence (pun intended), Booker was asked about the Obama Administration’s plan to attack Romney on his connection with Bain, one of the many Wall Street firms that ripped the heart out of the American economy.

Booker’s reaction was not the one to be expected of “Baby Obama,” the man who has built quite an impressive career by being a good Democratic foot soldier.  Booker said that Obama’s attacks on Bain capital were “nauseating,” which led Obama-ite Chris Matthews to refer to Booker’s words as an “act of sabotage” and a “betrayal” of President Obama.  Booker forgot to read the manual that in the 2012 hierarchy of light-skinned negro political power, he is an Indian, not a chief.   He might have all the power in the world in New Jersey, but when a mandate comes from King Obama, all minions are expected to comply.

As a Finance professor who has trained hundreds of students who now work on Wall Street, I immediately speculated that money was the reason that Booker would say something so anti-Obama when it comes to Bain Capital.  Like nearly every other politician in the North East, Booker gets gobs of cash from Wall Street. It’s hard to be a successful politician in New Jersey without begging Wall Street for money.

What’s interesting though is that President Obama also gets quite a bit of money from Wall Street.  But unlike Obama, Booker can’t turn to George Clooney to help him make up for funding shortfalls.  Booker really needs his Wall Street money, which might have led to his overzealous defense of America’s corporate pirates.

I’m not sure what Coryff was thinking when he bit the political hand that feeds him on “Meet the Press.”  One can only wonder why he didn’t simply do what every good politician does in that situation and dodge the issue.  Instead, Booker has been the latest victim of the “What in the hell have you done for me lately?” attitude of every Democrat willing to lie, steal and cheat to keep President Obama in the White House.  Even major media outlets (namely Fox News and MSNBC) are on board for the propaganda wars that will define future presidential elections.

Even more confusing than Booker’s initial comments are his groveling after the incident took place.  Booker has turned to Facebook, Twitter, email, television, radio and carrier pigeon to try to explain what happened and ask for forgiveness.  Perhaps this week, Booker will appear on the White House lawn with a dozen roses, an R. Kelly CD, and a “Please forgive me” card for President Obama.   The seasoned political veteran who made an amateurish mistake has looked even more like a novice in the way he’s tried to clean up the mess.

What Cory might find, however, is that there can be liberation through ostracism.  Rather than being “baby Obama,” Cory might be able to actually find a unique political voice as a result of this incident.  America in need of politicians willing to tell a different story that goes beyond the rhetoric we’re hearing in Washington.  Mind you, the Wall Street protective story isn’t going to fly, but Booker may also tell the untold stories about the War on Drugs, racial inequality and economic inequality that Washington politicians are choosing to ignore.  In fact, our country needs another Colin Powell, who is more interested in telling the truth than he is in playing for a political football team.

Cory Booker is crafty, intelligent and capable of generating tremendous amounts of support.  The bottom line is that Booker made his mistake, the Obama Administration is not going to trust him anymore, and he’d be best off making the most out of a difficult situation.  As one writer on Daily Kos (Tex DM) let Booker know, “You can’t put the tooth paste back in the tube.”  So perhaps instead of trying to do the impossible, Booker may want to rebuild from where he stands.

He’s still a very good politician and a leader in his own right.  He doesn’t need White House approval.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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