Democrats will push Newark Mayor Cory Booker into facing off Chris Christie next year in a bid to stop the popular New Jersey governor’s possible run for president in 2016, according to an influential Garden State political news site.
“Oh, he’ll run,” a source told PolitickerNJ.com. “The National Party pressure will be too great for him to resist. The Bill Clintons of the world will start calling. They want Christie’s legs taken out from under him before 2016.”
Christie’s political stardom skyrocketed this year when he stumped for Mitt Romney with his keynote address at the Republican National Convention, an address some GOP observers said was somewhat egocentric.
His reputation was further boosted by his hands-on management of the Hurricane Sandy disaster, in which he was seen squiring President Barack Obama around one of the state’s most affected areas.
The source said while the hugely-popular, highly-personable Christie will never be the robotic figure Mitt Romney has been perceived to be, Democratic bosses nonetheless want to “Romney-ize’’ him and limit him to one term in advance of the next presidential cycle.
Booker has planning meetings with potential fundraisers to determine whether he has the support to take on Christie.
Last week, the Newark Star-Ledger reported the well-liked Democrat will decide by mid-December whether to challenge Christie.
Sources told the newspaper that Booker make take at least one trip to California to speak with potential backers, and appear at a party hosted by Troy Carter, the manager of Lady Gaga and an entertainment-industry powerhouse.
Booker’s charismatic appeal has translated to big bucks in the past. In the 2010 mayoral election, he raised more than $1 million from California donors, including from Carter and other entertainment bigwigs.
Another source told PolitickerNJ.com, “Booker will run, because he’s not afraid to lose.”
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