Mayor Corey Booker's Senate Run Basically Falls on Lautenberg's Retirement

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All eyes are on Corey Booker. Three weeks ago, we reported on the mayor's announcement that he would consider running for the New Jersey Senate in 2014. And, following suit, BuzzFeed's Ben Smith argued that the mayor and Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick were destined to battle it out for Barack Obama's presidential throne in 2016. Speculation has already planned out the next three years of this guy's political career. Ugh.

However, Booker might be stepping into charted territory. Frank Lautenberg, the current senator, has held down the office since 2003 after leaving it for a few years. Beforehand, he was first elected senator in 1982. He's good friends with Senator Chuck Schumer and, because of his large chunk of time in office, a well-known face in the Democratic Party. Next year, if he decides to run for re-election, he'll be 90 years old. 

That decision might make or break Mayor Corey Booker's fate.

Yesterday, on CNN's Starting Point, Booker explained why he's hesitant about Lautenberg's future intentions: "I want to give him space to make his own decision. I've announced my intention to run, but the reality is . . . we've got a good senator. He's been loyal. He's been here for a long time. And I think he's got a decision to make." 

And Lautenberg has been sending mixed signals. At the end of last year, his staffers told reporters that "retirement is the last thing on his mind." Yet the day after Booker announced his intention to run for Senate, a Lautenberg spokesperson released a statement that the politician will not be making a retirement decision until the new year. 'Tis that time, and we still have heard nada.

However, Booker did not say whether he'll still run if Lautenberg seeks an umpteenth term on the Hill. Sure, he has the base, the ladles of media aspirations, the young charm, the attractive Twitter and all of that good, fun-for-millennials stuff, but the Senate thrives off incumbency. With a six-year term, it's much harder to usurp, no matter how many food stamp challenges you incur. So, at this point, he's just holding his breath for a bit.

Disclaimer: A Lautenberg/Booker primary match-up would be a sight to see.

[jsurico15@gmail.com/@JSuricz]

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1 comments
joedupont
joedupont

Dear Editor,
I remember Mr. Lautenberg telling the voters that Congresswoman Millicent Hammond Fenwick was too old to be a senator. (AARP never said a word!) Now,I hear that the Democrats want Lautenberg not to run again because he is" too old". (They never said that about former KKK member, Sen. Robert Byrd!)

Although in June of 2010 Lautenberg claimed that he was cancer free,at nearly 90, Lautenberg is on borrowed time. And there is a good chance, thanks to the 17th Amendment , that Governor Chris Christie will appoint his replacement when he goes to his great reward.

However, I will remember Sen. Lautenberg as one of those many Democrats who sold me and my children and my children's children, into slavery under ObamaCare. So I won't lose any sleep over his passing. Lincloln, a Republican, freed the slaves and the Democrats , Like Lautenberg, put us back into slavery through Obamacare and escalating debt!

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