The state of New Jersey has long been the butt of jokes, particularly in comparison to its shiny Big Apple neighbor, helped along by the antics of the notorious Snooki and her Jersey Shore castmates, the vapid mall culture pictured in countless movies, and stereotypical myths from big hair, toxic dumps and the mob culture made famous by The Sopranos. But it’s also the state that gave us Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi and in the world of politics, no bigger titans currently reign than Newark, NJ mayor, Cory Booker, and current NJ governor, Chris Christie.
So the question, “are these two going to run against each other in the 2013 New Jersey Governor’s race?” inspires thoughts of a high-profile and very dramatic political scenario. And as of Sunday, hopes are high that it just might come to pass.
Speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, 12.9, Cory Booker stated, in a question about whether he’d run for the Senate or the governor’s seat:
“Yeah, I’m absolutely considering running for governor as well as giving other options some consideration,” Booker said. “I will be focused on that for the next week to ten days or so and really come up with a decision that answers my basic questions … hopefully, the voters later might agree with me, but where do I believe I can make the best difference for the city I love, the state I love and the nation that I have pledged my life to.”
“It’s going to be within in the next two weeks, especially in New Jersey, because there’s a lot of very good candidates for governor in New Jersey on the Democratic side and I have got to give my party and be part of my party’s push forward, whether it’s with me as candidate or with supporting other candidates for that office,” Booker said.
Certainly Booker has the profile for the race, whichever race he chooses. The Democratic star has literally exploded in the media after heroic Hurricane Sandy feats, earlier heroism involving the rescue of a woman from a burning building, even his more recent participation in the SNAP food stamp challenge (living for a week on food stamps).
But when it comes to the governor’s seat, Chris Christie “ain’t no slouch,” either. His fiery (to some, hysterical) keynote speech at the Republican National Convention got him trending worldwide, his potential as Romney’s VP pick created a certain “will they or won’t they?” media suspense, but his fierce and largely non-partisan response to Hurricane Sandy is what vaunted him to Booker-like hero status. When he eschewed “presidential politics” in lieu of productive collaboration with President Obama, he may have raised the ire of his Republican brethren but commensurately pumped his positive ratings in the country at large (though that non-partisanship seems to have been as short-lived as most predicted).
But now we’re at the dawn of a new, post-election, pre-new year political day and eyes are turning toward the races coming up in 2013. Clearly a Booker/Christie match-up would be considered one of the most anticipated, vibrant, and media-friendly races on the roster. While we’ve seen these two titans team up for our amusement in the past, a blood and bones political race between bona fide stars with future Presidential potential would be the “get” of all political “gets”…and New Jersey would surely, then, take its place on the bigger world stage for something more than big hair!
Stay tuned…more to come.