I’ve gotten so utterly tired of the professional partisan bloviators on both sides on cable and talk radio and of the partisan spinners that cable shows invite on knowing that they are going to try to cram through as many talking points as they can for their party and candidate. The partisan spinners make everyone who follows politics an ace psychic since you can tell precisely what is going to come out of their mouths on any given question. They’re like elementary school students reciting the states.
But not always.
Newark N.J. Mayor Cory Booker showed something in short supply in American politics: a partisan who is willing to give a candid opinion (agree with him or not) during election year. He says the Obama campaign’s attacks on Bain Capital are nauseating:
Newark N.J. Mayor Cory Booker (D) expressed reserve about the Obama campaign’s Bain strategy against Mitt Romney, telling “Meet The Press” viewers on Sunday that he was “uncomfortable” with the line of attacks.
“This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides,” Booker said. “It’s nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity.”
Booker was referencing the Obama campaign’s Monday release of a series of documentary-esque Bain videos. The clips depicted Romney as a job destroyer at places like GST steel — a company purchased by Bain that later saw hundreds of workers lose their employment.
The mayor’s comments also questioned the Bain attacks’ public value, noting that they diverge from the “real issues” affecting voters.
It’s either going to be a small campaign about this crap or it’s going to be a big campaign, in my opinion, about the issues that the American public cares about,” Booker said.
The Huffington post also offers this Corey Tweet:
I will fight hard for Obama to win. But just as his 08 campaign did, I believe we must elevate & not denigrate. This is the Obama I know
The problem is that the country/s increasingly entrenchted current talk radio political culture, the dependence on new and old media to get audience share and readers (and make big bucks) on controversy, and the no-holds-barred role of Super PACs which are driving American politics in the rhetorical gutter make this difficult. Do you aim high and maybe miss the voters that are being attracted to the septic tank below? Or do you aim for the septic tank and hope you don’t wind up smelling like it?
Photo via shutterstock.com
FOOTNOTE: Four years ago I did THIS REVIEW about a documentary about Booker’s early “reformer” career.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.