On December 20, Cory Booker filed the paper work that made it official. The Democratic Mayor of Newark, New Jersey is exploring the possibility--thinking seriously--about running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by fellow Democrat Frank Lautenberg.
The idea of Booker running while Lautenberg still serves does not sit well with some Garden State Democrats. Frank Lautenberg has served his state, and his country, well since first being sent to Washington by New Jersey voters in 1982..
His accomplishments are many. Perhaps the most notable is authoring the legislation that brought about the smoking ban on most commercial airline flights.
But, Frank Lautenberg is the oldest current U.S. Senator, and on Wednesday, he will turn 89. He is 28 years older than the median age in the Senate--61. That fact, his age, is reason enough for Cory Booker to run--even if it means a Democratic primary fight.
Should Frank Lautengerg choose to run again, and win reelection, he would be 96 at the end of his term. At that age, it would be hard to argue that he would have the energy and vitality of a man in his 40s. Cory Booker is 43..
As for experience, Frank Lautenberg does, indeed, have that;; but so does Cory Booker, Newark Mayor since 2006, Booker has garnered national attention for his accomplishments in education, and has won praise for his wilingness and ability to work across party lines.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Cory Booker's experience is the unique way he has stayed close to, and worked for, his constituents.
He once went on a hunger strike to publicize the extent of the drug dealing problem in parts of his city. On another occasion he lived on food stamps to create awareness of the difficulty some families have making ends meet.. During a natural disaster, he sheltered hurricane victims in his home.
New Jersey voters already favor Cory Booker in the polls. Here's hoping that Frank Lautenberg follows their wishes and chooses to retire at the end of his current term, two years from now, after a job well done.
It is not Cory Booker who is pushing him out. The culprit is Father Time.