This day was coming for wunderkind Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Save Jerseyeans.
The media and Democratic machinery was never going to give Booker the pass that other Democratic machine politicians usually get. Why? Because was always a different sort of pol; he never played the machine game and, for that, he is getting savaged this morning by the The New York Times.
The NYT starts off condescending:
Mayor Cory A. Booker has brought to his labors here a magical facility with words. He can make nouns and verbs dance and dive, and his heartfelt tales of walking her streets and tending her bloodied children bring tears to your eyes.
Kind of bad? Well, it gets worse. The article continues:
But back in the battered beauty that is Newark, his golden shine has accumulated tarnish at an alarming rate. The budget is busted, he has laid off cops, and crime is climbing. And the political bosses sit snug as ever in their lairs.
Last month, the mayor employed words less magically as he testified at the trial of his close ally and former deputy mayor Ronald Salahuddin, who this month was convicted of conspiracy to commit extortion.
Ouch. I actually don’t think I’ve seen a hit piece like this on someone who was once a shining, rising star for the New Democratic Party. The article goes on and discusses snippets of the case against the now-convicted Ronald Salahuddin.
But the article goes even further and parrots the reasons why the local Democratic machine abhors Booker:
The cognitive dissonance between Mr. Booker’s national and local reputations is considerable. A Stanford-Oxford-Yale-educated son of the suburbs who quite self-consciously set out to redeem Newark, he — at first — forced down murder, improved public housing and raised millions for charities.
And he still reaps big love. Hedge funders, Internet tycoons, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Oprah Winfrey: all shower money on this 41-year-old.
The article’s author(s) complain about the lore of Cory Booker yet there isn’t much there in terms of actual stats or sliding trends. However, Newark’s streets are still bloody, the schools are still failing, and jobs still aren’t coming back to the Brick City.
Prediction? This article is the first of many in a long line of upcoming personal attacks on Mr. Booker’s character and style with the substantive hits to follow shortly thereafter I’m sure. This NYT piece will be an important article to keep in the back pocket when Booker begs for a US Senate seat from Chris Christie or if he decides to run for a statewide seat in the future.
The honeymoon is over, Mr. Booker.