AHEAD OF HIS SKIS
Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, one of the Democratic Party's rising stars, is now a 2014 Senate hopeful. But he's quickly finding out that running for Congress isn't just about making regular MSNBC appearances and firing off congratulatory retweets.
Booker announced earlier this month he was running for the seat of 88-year-old Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who was widely expected to retire. But Lautenberg has since said he's not going anywhere, and his staff angrily, but anonymously, attacked Booker through local newspapers as a self-absorbed promotion machine. Meanwhile, another ambitious New Jersey Democrat, Rep. Frank Pallone, has telegraphed his interest in running against Booker, but only if Lautenberg retires.
Now, Booker is trying to change the subject, at least publicly, saying that his Senate campaign isn't "really an issue right now" on MSNBC's The Last Word. In the meantime, the mayor has a lot of fence-mending to do with the influential state and county Democratic leaders who play an outsized role in party primaries. He's quickly learning one messy reality of Jersey politics: Run afoul of the party machine at your own risk.
ON YOUR WAY OUT, STOP AT THE GIFT SHOP
The high rollers usually get all the attention at inaugurals, when they show up aboard their private jets and spend tens of thousands of dollars at the high-end hotels. But deals also abound for the average guy interested in inaugural booty. He just has to log onto the 57th Presidential Inauguration Store.