The Last Word | November 27, 2012
>>> in the spotlight tonight, bush .0. jeb bush met yesterday with a group of his former staffers at a hotel just steps away from the white house and refused to answer questions about a possible presidential run in 2016 . in an interswru online, bush did not rule out a presidential run. he simply said that quote, i am here to catch up with folks and promote education reform . and today, on the day that gq crowned mitt romney the number one least influential person of the year, jeb bush hosted a national summit on education reform in washington. exactly the kind of thing presidential candidates do at this stage leading up to the xul announcement of their candidacy. yesterday, chris christie announced he will seek re-election as governor and he play played around with it, reminding people of his potential presidential candidacy.
>> i made up my mind, so i'm telling you.
>> according to a new quinnipiac poll, less than a month after sandy hit new jersey , voters there have given him a 72% approval rating . the highest recorded by quinnipiac for a new jersey governor. ever. 95% of new jersey voters gave christie an excellent or good rating for his response to hurricane sandy. and despite criticism from some national republican leaders, 84% approved of christie 's praise of president obama 's response to the storm, including 69% of republicans. newark's democratic mayor, cory booker , told the new jersey star ledger today, quote, i'm giving a run consideration. critical to my decision is not the difficulties of the politics or positioning in polls, but choosing the position from which i can make the best contributions to the city and state i love. meanwhile, a new rutgers eagleton poll finds governor christie leading mayor booker in a hypothetical race, 53 to 34%. joining me now, david corn and msnbc political analyst, jonathan allen , senior washington correspondent for politico. david corn , let's talk about cory booker for a moment, who i think was poised to run for governor probably prior to chris christie 's poll numbers going where they are now, but shouldn't he be looking more seriously at frank lautenberg 's senate seat? he's 88 years old. his seat's up in 2014 . he will be 90 years old. i, for one, cannot imagine lautenberg running for re-election at age 90. that's going to be an open seat , isn't it?
>> it looks like it. if he ran against christie , i guess they could have a contest on who helped obama the most in 2012 and christie might win this. lawrence, you know politicians better than anybody. until they're actually willing to el us their decision, everything's an open door . christie has higher approval numbers than probably bruce springsteen would have in the state. it remains to be seen if the numbers will stay that high. they weren't that high earlier in the year. new jersey 's unemployment was higher than the national average. cory booker has a few months here to decide what's the better bet for him. governor's race or an open senate seat.
>> in the timing of this, given how much it's going to cost to run in new jersey , you have to buy new york television time to run ads in new jersey , the most expensive time in the country. you also have to buy philadelphia advertising to run tv ads in the southern end of the state. it's a very expensive proposition. you've got to start raising that money right now. you got to make a fast decision if you're running for this office. isn't what is likely to be a open senate seat the better play for cory booker where i think if he made it into the senate, he would be a star.
>> i think you're right and in fact, the possible christie booker match-up would be sort of the battle of the network stars . i think the nation knows these two guys from television probably as well as any two state politicses in the country, but they're not mutually exclusive . this is a 2013 gubernatorial race. i don't know what booker's thinking is. i don't know if if it's possible to run two statewide campaigns back-to-back, but the advantage he would have is that new jersey is one of only a couple of races on the map in 2013 , which means if he's trying to raise money , there are a lot of donors out there that aren't going to be dpifing to a lot of other races.
>> there's a nonpolitical factor to consider here. i hate even to say that, but if you look at the two different jobs, governor and senator, booker is probably more attuned to being a governor. this is a guy who likes to do things. get out there. break a sweat. be in charge and i think you're right. he'd be a star in the senate, but what we've seen him up to date, the governor's job is probably more to his just personal liking.
>> jonathan, let's get to this, what the maneuvers we're seeing already on the republican 2016 presidential race . here you have jeb bush not making any attempt to deny in any way that he might run for president in 2016 and then you see him doing this week exactly what you would do if you were thinking about it. we see marco rubio going out to iowa already. it seems like these people are getting themselves into place already.
>> i'm sure marco rubio visited area many, many times before he was a united states senator .
>> these people would tell you this isn't about a presidential race , but of course it is about taking the temperature there. there are a lot of republicans thinking about running in 2016 . i think some of those decisions will be contingent on who's running. jeb bush is about as big a fish as you could find in the republican pond. there probably isn't enough room if for both him and marco rubio to paul ryan i think is a potential candidate in 2016 and then a number of others, bob mcdonald , the governor of virginia . if he fipds something that's helpful to him to raise his profile. i think these guys are trying to get an idea of what the kopt bugss would be like. what the field looks like. what kind of platform they could put together to appeal to the voters that mitt romney did not. obviously, mitt romney had a huge deficit with african-american voters, hispanic voters and women voters, so i think these potential candidates are trying to map it out.
>> david corn , when george w. bush ran, he got such a quick surge in the polls that no one was able to stop him. is jeb bush that guy this time? is he the one that if he makes it clear he's running, others will decide not to?
>> you know, i still wonder if two words come to mind. too soon. i mean, the george w. bush presidency is still not held in high esteem amongst many voters who still blame bush for the economic downturn at the end of his administration that has carried us to this day. jeb bush has the ability to talk to hispanic, more moderate, but i also wonder if you know, people will be a little tired of the bush dynasty come to 2016 .
>> well, they're too tired of it now, but 2016 is a few years away. thank you both for joining me tonight.