Corzine strikes me as a good option for Obama. He’s a true expert on fiscal issues and his previous job as the CEO of Goldman Sachs would ensure a good relationship with Wall Street. Plus, he has a pretty good record running New Jersey and has managed to avoid any hideous scandals in that time, which is pretty tough for a Jersey politician to do.
More interestingly, SSP speculates on the possible political fallout in Jersey of such a move. Obviously, it would open up the Governor’s Mansion, which would go to State Senate President Richard Codey. Codey, however, has made it clear that he has no interest in high office. He could have easily won had he run for Governor in 2005, at the end of his last stint as Acting Governor, but he passed on the race for Corzine. He then could have easily had Corzine’s US Senate seat, given his successful term as acting Governor and his status as Jersey’s most popular politician.
So that means the November, 2009 Gubernatorial election in New Jersey would be for an open seat. The hands down best option? Cory Booker, the Mayor of Newark. For those who don’t know, Booker perhaps the most impressive young politician in the country. He was an All-American football player at Stanford, a Rhodes Scholar and a Yale Law graduate who moved to Newark and lived in its worst housing projects to start a political career as a city councilman. He first ran for Mayor in 2002, losing to the horribly corrupt Sharpe James but inspiring the best political movie of the decade in Street Fight. His term as Mayor has thus far been quite successful, including a 30 percent drop in the murder rate thus far this year. His recent profile in Esquire lays out his strengths quite admirably and all in all leave you with the impression that Booker is a man destined for greatness. (An impression I must admit I’ve gotten from every single thing I’ve ever read or seen about Booker.)
Would Booker run for Governor? Who knows. He’s been incredibly devoted to Newark thus far in his career, passing up opportunities to run for Senate in the past. But the Governorship is an executive position, which is much more Booker’s style. Plus, it would be a hell of a lot easier than running Newark. But who knows. We can only hope.