The panic increases in New Jersey’s liberal land.
“Sure thing” Senate Democratic nominee Cory Booker is strangely gasping for political oxygen in advance of an October 16 election – so much so that the New York Times has had to take notice.
There’s more – with a wonderfully 21st-century twist.
Over at National Review, Eliana Johnson has pulled back the curtain on the secret relationship between the Booker campaign and NARAL, the wildly left-wing National Abortion Rights Action League.
The Booker campaign was busily posting internal campaign documents to an open Google group site, for all the world to see. Johnson saw, took notes, and published – and like cockroaches scurrying when the light goes on, the site was hastily closed to public view.
Johnson found that the Booker campaign had filled out NARAL’s candidate questionnaire – only to be told by NARAL that Booker’s positions weren’t sufficient. What to do? Why, but of course, NARAL would coach the campaign on how to fill out the questionnaire.
Booker policy director Matt Klapper finalized NARAL’s candidate questionnaire on September 16. But on Tuesday he received an e-mail from NARAL’s political director, Erika West, apprising him that one of Booker’s answers was insufficiently supportive of taxpayer-funded abortions. “We’re almost there,” West wrote, indicating that NARAL’s policy staff had reviewed Booker’s written responses. “Their only wish is that you amend answer #5 on public funding.” The mayor’s original answer, West explained, “gets us into some challenges, because the list of instances where federal funding would be involved isn’t exhaustive.”
Booker’s policy staff proceeded to amend the mayor’s original answer… .
You can’t make this stuff up. A special interest group is caught red-handed cheating, instructing a candidate how to answer the group’s questions correctly (“We’re almost there,” says the NARAL staffer patiently to the Booker staffer), and the supine candidate does what he’s told.
It’s moments like this that underscore why the once “sure thing” Cory Booker has become the subject of what the Times calls worry from “anxious allies.”
Once upon a time, a candidate like Steve Lonegan would have been an automatic dead duck in a New Jersey Senate race.
But as noted nearby in the story on Kelly Ayotte, New Jersey voters are beginning to smell the smoke in the American house, and understanding what Obamacare and other liberal fantasies are costing them. Lonegan has successfully cast Booker as a glamorous show horse who has failed as the mayor of Newark, wanting a Senate seat only for the national stage. This has, says the Times, “unnerved” the Booker camp – and so they are turning for help to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is rushing in over a million bucks for a television ad.
This race, which pits a genuine Reagan conservative against a genuine Obama liberal, should be a walk-away win for Booker. Suddenly, it isn’t. Lonegan is gaining so rapidly the left has become genuinely alarmed. An October 1 Monmouth University poll has a race that was supposed to be a minimum of a 20-point victory down to 13 points. Other polls have shown Booker’s lead down to 6 points and even 3 points.
And watch those open Google groups.