Cory Booker is the Distraction From Obama’s Real Issues: Romney’s Business History at Bain

BlogHer Original Post

It IS about the economy, Cory Booker and everyone else.

Recently, the Obama campaign went on the offensive, with the angle that Mitt Romney’s business success doesn’t necessarily translate into best practices for the government. The Obama camp released a series of Romney Economics videos focusing on the real people who lost their jobs –- and entire towns brought to a standstill -- when Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, bought out and liquidated local businesses such as the Ampad paper factory in Marion, Indiana.

It was a bold, decisive move for a President plagued with accusations of trading on misty concepts, such as "hope" and “change."

Then along comes Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, who went on Meet the Press calling the strategy “nauseating."

To add to the distraction, Republicans have jumped to back Booker (who’s a Democrat), even using a sound bite from Meet the Press in a Romney ad, prompting Booker to then make his own YouTube video clarifying what he meant to say, while emphasizing that he was in no way coerced by the Obama campaign to do so.

Should have seen that one coming, right?

It’s time to move past Booker’s statements and stop pontificating on whether his career is done, or whatnot. Cory Booker is entitled to his opinion. And like Anton Bursch at the Daily Kos asserts, since when did the Mayor of Newark determine the outcome of a presidential election?

Let’s get back to the point Obama was trying to make before this conversation got so derailed: Business is not the same as government. While Barack Obama never disparages the value of free enterprise or financial prosperity in the private sector, he reiterates in his address to NATO his main point: that the role of a leader of the nation is not the same as the CEO of a company:

“And when you're president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot. Your job is to think about those workers who get laid off and how are we paying them for their retraining? ... And so, if your main argument for how to grow the economy is, ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,’ then you're missing what this job is about. It doesn't -- it doesn't mean you weren't good at private equity, but that's not what my job is as president. My job is to take into account everybody, not just some. My job is to make sure that the country is growing not just now, but ten years from now and twenty years from now.”

So Cory Booker has had his fifteen minutes of fame (or infamy). Let’s get back to the issue at hand, which is the 2012 presidential election and the economy that the winner will get to deal with.

Cory Booker
Caption: Apr. 21, 2007 - Washington, DC - I11801MR.CORY BOOKER arrive at the Bloomberg gala following the White House Correspondents Dinner.Washington DC. 4-21-2007. MARK REINSTEIN- - CORY BOOKER(Credit Image: © Globe Photos/

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs at HapaMama and A Year (Almost) Without Shopping.


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