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"I, fortunately, still am running a pretty large city"
Rep. Frank Pallone:  "Your campaign said you were at a barbecue in Belleville"
It appears Cory Booker was a no show at this past weekend's debate.

Yes, that's correct.  Mr. 40 points ahead himself wimped out and pulled an Arnold Schwarzenegger.  You recall that when Ah-nold himself went to the final debate in the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Race, he had not gone to previous debates where other contenders in the race showed up.

Booker's excuse?

"I, fortunately, still am running a pretty large city," Booker said, adding that at the time of the debate, he was in Newark for the opening of a business.
One of the Democratic U.S. Senate in NJ candidates, Frank Pallone, fired at Booker:

"Your campaign said you were at a barbecue in Belleville," Pallone shot back.
Cory, are you running for the U.S. Senate or are you running the City of Newark?  This is a debate.  You decide.

Here's the debate broken down into four videos (can't get entire video in one):

New Jersey U.S. Senate Debate Part 1

New Jersey Senate Debate Part 2

New Jersey Senate Debate Part 3

New Jersey Senate Debate Part 4

If you are looking to donate or support anyone besides Cory Booker, look to the following:

Rush Holt (most progressive and fact-based out of all the candidates)


Frank Pallone


Sheila Oliver



Who do you plan on donating, supporting and volunteering for in the special U.S. Senate election to replace late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg?

22%14 votes
57%36 votes
14%9 votes
6%4 votes

| 63 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ugh (2+ / 0-)

    I really hope NJ doesn't sent that clown to Congress. Holt is easily the best candidate.

    “The Republicans believe in the minimum wage — the more the minimum, the better.”-Harry S Truman

    by Generic Democrat on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 12:07:10 PM PDT

    •  Knowing the brain dead NJ Democratic Party (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice, Generic Democrat

      We may be far more likely to get someone along the mold of Robert Menendez or Cory Booker than someone like Rush Holt in the U.S. Senate.  However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't continue to fight for Holt.

      We have a week and half until the 8/13 special election.  Might as well fight for Rush Holt as hard as we can.  This is a special election after all.

      •  Is 8/13 a primary? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Generic Democrat

        Or is it a general election with the winner going right to the Senate?  On the GOP side, I know Chiesa's not running. Who is?

        "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

        by TLS66 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 12:46:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's the primary. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Generic Democrat

          The general is on October 16.
          Amazingly, the likely Republican candidate is Steve Lonegan of Americans for Prosperity. The only other Republican seeking the nomination is a nobody who might be even crazier than Lonegan.
          So, we've got a golden opportunity to put a really good Democrat in the Senate.  And I'm afraid we're blowing it.

        •  Primary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Generic Democrat

          But the NJ Democratic U.S. Senate race is a lock for Democrats so holding the seat shouldn't be a concern.  Getting the right Democratic U.S. Senator should be a concern though given there's such little time to get Democrats in NJ unified behind the ideal candidate who should represent NJ in the U.S. Senate:  Rush Holt.

          •  We need more time, unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

            The race would have been easier had it been just Cory Booker vs. Rush Holt.  Unfortunately, the field is crowded and a vote for Frank Pallone or Sheila Oliver is a vote for Cory Booker.

            By the way, did you hear Oprah Winfrey is campaigning for Cory Booker?  I kid you not.


            •  Considering that Pallone outpaces everyone (0+ / 0-)

              other than Booker, it seems silly to me to characterize a vote for Pallone or Oliver as a vote for Booker. It would be more accurate to call a vote for Oliver or Holt a vote for Booker.

              Unapologetic Obama supporter.

              by Red Sox on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 02:20:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, then two of them shouldn't have run (0+ / 0-)

                I mean, most of us on Kos support Rush Holt because he's an outstanding Democrat in addition to being an outstanding progressive.  If Pallone outpaces everyone as you point out, then Holt and Oliver should drop out just for the sake of defeating Cory Booker.

                Either way the argument goes, this is a crowded primary and it would be more fair if there would be a run-off election between two Democratic candidates, whether Cory Booker vs. Rush Holt, Booker vs. Frank Pallone or Booker vs. Sheila Oliver.

                •  Maybe (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Generic Democrat

                  I'm not sure it's "more fair"--I mean, everyone got in knowing that it only takes a plurality to win. Moreover, Booker might get over 50% of the vote anyway, thus negating any kind of run-off. Run-offs also have something of an odious history, having been implemented in Southern states to ensure that blacks wouldn't be able to take advantage of a race where the white vote would be split.

                  Still, ask any Maine Democrat if they wouldn't kill for runoff votes, after a Carter Administration appointee ran as an independent and split the non-batshit vote with a Democrat, enabling Gov. Vaseline to take office with 39% of the vote.

                  Unapologetic Obama supporter.

                  by Red Sox on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 06:11:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Lest we believe that Mr. Booker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is an outlier, Sen. Feinstein also determined that it was of no value to her (or, I suppose, her constituents) to engage in debates during her most recent coronation campaign.

    I believe her exact quote to the SF Chronicle was "Why bother?" when her Republican opponent inquired about engaging in debate prior to the election.

    This of course is not to excuse, or conversely to exaggerate, Mr. Booker's peccadilloes. I bet there are plenty of Republican candidates who don't see the value of engaging with the people who pay their salaries and return them to Congress. One might argue, though, that Mr. Booker is auditioning for his very first term, so the least he could do is face an opponent and answer some questions.

    Of course, if he's ordained by the Party, perhaps he too can get away with "Why bother?"

  •  I prefer Holt's record but please advise (0+ / 0-)

    what are his chances? And is donating money the best thing to do or are there other actions like writing letters to editors?

    As for Cory Booker. . . . on some issues he might make a fine senator, effective communicator, and role model.

    •  Holt's chances are nil (0+ / 0-)

      He'd make a great Senator, but Booker is miles ahead of everyone. Pallone is doing the best of the "Not Bookers" but it'll be a pretty significant upset if he wins.

      Unapologetic Obama supporter.

      by Red Sox on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 02:17:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Holt's chances in 2014 may matter more (0+ / 0-)

        I will be voting for Holt.
        This is a primary for a 1 year term.
        The full term election is in 2014.

        So I hope Holt does well now, but even if not, any help now will improve his chances in 2014.

        At that point, it may be Cory Booker who is behind in the polls.

        Time will tell.

        States only get 2 senators. As Goldman Sachs is a sovereign state I think they have too many senators already.

        The only winning move is not to play. - Joshua

        by FightersFate on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 02:37:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't fault anyone for making (0+ / 0-)

          the choice they feel is best for them. I'm a big Pallone fan, but I like Rush Holt (and still love his epic "Twinkle Twinkle Kenneth Starr" ad), and for that matter, I really don't have anything against Mr. Booker. Pallone, to me, would make the best Senator--he's a smart progressive who can also really help lead implementation of the Affordable Care Act given his experience as the top Democrat on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. That's not a knock on Holt by any stretch, and it's not like I get a vote anyway, but if I did, it would be for Pallone.

          Unapologetic Obama supporter.

          by Red Sox on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 02:52:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  But would it be worth... (0+ / 0-)

          ...losing Holt in the House in order for him to run against Booker next year?  Successfully primarying an incumbent, even a one-year incumbent, is very difficult.  And I have no doubt the bosses would be backing Booker no matter how much he's pissed off progressives.
          Much as I'd like to see Holt in the Senate, if he doesn't make it this year, I think I'd rather he look at the next gubernatorial race (assuming Christie wins reelection).

        •  Here's the problem with primaries in Congress (0+ / 0-)

          Primaries in partisan elections in Congress, regardless if you're running as a Democrat or as a Republican, are not necessarily held like partisan primary elections for presidential candidates.  I believe the 2014 Democratic primary in NJ is on June 03, 2014, which means if Rush Holt runs again in 2014 for the official primary and loses, he won't have much time to campaign for his seat in Congress in case he needs something to fall back on.  Not sure Holt will have a problem keeping his seat since this is in New Jersey.

    •  Whatever it takes is the best thing to do (0+ / 0-)

      Donating, writing letters to the editor, getting out the vote, giving hell to all Democrats in state government who support Cory Booker, whatever can be done.

      Ultimately though, the NJ Democrats need to get fired up but over the right person.

      Meanwhile, various Democrats in NJ are becoming wishy-washy by supporting Chris Christie for re-election.

      Problem is, Booker isn't a straight shooter and won't go after Republicans in the same way Democrats normally go after them.  I'm not saying Booker has to be partisan all the time but unless he's going to challenge Republicans for their views and actions, he's not going to be able to make the case for the issues he really cares about.   The GOP in the U.S. Senate stands in the way of all the things Booker cares about.

      •  Meanwhile, Holt was on MSNBC (0+ / 0-)

        Maybe having him on TV more frequently would be as good as it gets for now.

        and the NY Times endorsed Booker:

        We strongly believe the best choice is Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, who will be able to use his political star status to fight for the neglected, the powerless, people who are working and people who need to work in New Jersey and nationally. He wants to battle obesity, and the guns that kill and maim so many. And he wants to round up more support for the urban centers where more and more Americans live.

         Ambitions are easy to come by, but Mr. Booker doesn’t just talk about helping the helpless. He does it. He would bring a sense of reality and some street-level experience to a Senate that often seems disembodied from the whole planet.

        Worth reading the whole Op-Ed piece AND the comments.

        Thank you for all the good replies to my question. Much appreciated.

  •  Maybe he was busy saving puppies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bill W
    No one other than Vladimir Putin could pull off these bathetic, 360-degree political theatrics – though even Putin would have blanched at Booker's made-for-TV rescue one cold Newark night of a freezing mutt named Cha Cha, bearing the dog in his arms like the Lamb of God. "This dog is shaking really bad," he told an airhead local news reporter – who had earlier arranged the entire pseudo-rescue with him via Twitter. Had she really been concerned, she could have just called the cops or, you know, rescued the dog herself. Instead, she told Booker to meet her at the scene with her camera crew and, when it was all over, even got her picture taken with the man of the hour.
  •  I'll be philosophical about it... (0+ / 0-)

    If Cory Booker is my next senator, I will have a better senator than most Americans have.  But I will not have as good a senator as I used to have.

    •  It's easier in NJ than in states like WV (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bill W

      If Cory Booker were running in West Virginia and had the same fame and no change in his political views or record, he would be a better candidate than most Democrats in the state.

      However, knowing the wishy-washy record of NJ Democrats as of lately, particularly with supporting Chris Christie for re-election even while he's taken action on things in a very negative way that mean a lot to Democrats, Booker isn't good enough.

      You have to wonder whether Cory Booker will bring much change for New Jersey as a U.S. Senator.  That's really uncertain at this point.  He will likely win in the 8-13-13 special election and will pretty much be a lock for November 2014 already.  Therefore, we don't have to panic whereas with other U.S. Senate races in states like South Dakota, Louisiana, Iowa and Arkansas, we definitely need to keep our eye on the ball and make sure the Republicans don't win control of the U.S. Senate.

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