Hold me I’m scared.
Appearing on CNN’s “Newsroom” with Ana Cabrera, Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) issued the ultimate warning to Donald Trump, and presumably anyone else who would dare to mess with his rival for the Democratic nomination, Joe Biden. “If you come after Joe Biden,” the senator sometimes known as Spartacus threatened, “you’re going to have to deal with me in this case.”
Before we get to the rest of the interview, let’s back up a moment.
When I said that Biden and Booker are rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, it’s a bit like saying my nine-year-old and I are rivals for a starting offensive position with the Denver Broncos. Given the team’s 1-4 start, it isn’t impossible that they’d choose one of us, although it remains (ahem) somewhat unlikely.
Similarly, neither Booker nor Biden looks exactly like a shoo-in for the Dem nom. Booker’s situation is so desperate that he was forced into a cheesy fundraising gimmick last month, in which he threatened that he’d have to wind down his campaign if he didn’t raise $1.7 million by October 1. Not only did it work, but Booker is polling so strongly that he’s qualified for the November debate stage.
“Strongly” meaning 3% in his best polls. That’s a three, followed by a nothin’. On the fundraising totals for last quarter, Mayor Pete pulled in three times more money than Booker did, and even that’s only good enough for third place. Kamala Harris continues to struggle, but still generated almost twice as many dollars as Booker did.
Meanwhile, Biden’s “Joementum” is all going in the wrong direction. Biden is sinking fast in RCP’s Iowa average, down to 20.3% from a high of 28.5% just three weeks ago. He’s now in second place there behind Liz Warren. New Hampshire numbers tell a similar story, with Biden dropping to 23.2% in recent weeks, down from a commanding 34.5% in the crowded Dem field. Perhaps most telling is the fundraising story. Biden’s third-quarter haul was about $10 million behind both Warren and Bernie Sanders, and nearly four million dollars behind Buttigieg. Last week we learned that the Biden campaign had dramatically cut back on buying digital ads. And this morning MSN reported that Biden’s big money people held a weekend retreat in “a drab hotel conference room” to try and hammer out a turnaround plan. To cap off his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad weekend, Biden took to the Washington Post’s op-ed page on Sunday to publish a whiny “Trump Won’t Destroy Me” piece.
But the truth is, Trump isn’t destroying Biden. That job would belong to Biden’s malignant son, Hunter, and their foul-smelling arrangements with Ukraine and China.
Now back to Booker.
Speaking about the Bidens’ involvement in Ukraine he told Cabrera, “These are baseless, unfounded, scurrilous lies, plain and simple, trying to undermine the character of one of the statesmen of our country, not our party, but our country. And so, yeah, you’ve got a problem with me.”
It doesn’t really seem like Biden needs a junior senator of no particular accomplishments to come to his defense. Also, Booker is getting needlessly distracted here. Booker’s focus shouldn’t be other people’s problems with him; it ought to be on his problem attracting Democratic primary voters. Iowa’s 41 delegates are up for grabs in just under four months, and Booker is polling at under 2.5% there. Maybe he needs to spend a little less time making big talk on CNN, and a little more time making small talk in the heartland.