Paul Krugman confirms the Cory Booker “friend of Wall Street” framing

A Cory Booker follow-on. We wrote earlier (“Cory Booker wants back on the bus“) that the Booker dust-up had many layers. (Click to get the gist; among other errors, he defended Bain Capital in a surrogate-appearance on Meet The Press and got a few people mad at him; one of them, his boss, Mr. Obama.)

Our take was that this isn’t just a “surrogate goes rogue” story, but a “why did Booker defend Wall Street?” story as well.

Our conclusion — “Booker is Wall Street’s man in Newark” and what he wants back is not just his seat at the trough (Obama understudy; man on the rise), but his framing as a “true progressive, friend of the poor” as well.

Looks like he’s going to get neither.

About that framing, here’s what Paul Krugman wrote about Booker. Buried in a great column about the Masters of the Universe and their delicate feelings (“Egos and Immorality“) is this nugget (my emphasis):

So, no, financial wheeling and dealing did not do wonders for the American economy, and there are real questions about why, exactly, the wheeler-dealers have made so much money while generating such dubious results.

Those are, however, questions that the wheeler-dealers don’t want asked — and not, I think, just because they want to defend their tax breaks and other privileges. It’s also an ego thing. Vast wealth isn’t enough; they want deference, too, and they’re doing their best to buy it. It has been amazing to read about erstwhile Democrats on Wall Street going all in for Mitt Romney, not because they believe that he has good policy ideas, but because they’re taking President Obama’s very mild criticism of financial excesses as a personal insult.

And it has been especially sad to see some Democratic politicians with ties to Wall Street, like Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker, dutifully rise to the defense of their friends’ surprisingly fragile egos.

When Krugman ID’s you as a man with “ties to Wall Street” in a New York Times column that excoriates Wall Street — in the print edition no less — your faux-progressive cred is at serious risk.

Booker is not just Wall Street’s man in Newark; he’s “education privatizer’s man” as well; and one of his financiers is … Bain Capital itself. No wonder he couldn’t bite them; too busy feeding.

This is the Cory Booker story. Take it home and read it to your children. It would be the truth.

GP

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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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