Kathleen Parker / Politics

Cory Booker's Bain

WASHINGTON -- The past several days of Newark Mayor Cory Booker's life have been painfully amusing to watch.

Painful because Booker, a rising Democratic star, is such a good guy. Amusing, because rarely are Americans treated to such premier seats in the political theater of truth and consequence.

That is, tell the truth and beware the consequences.

Booker has gained much unwelcome attention from his own political party, while being nearly sanctified by Republicans, for the singular offense of telling the truth.

And then untelling the truth

And then ... stay tuned.

To know Booker is to like him. He's one of those political figures whose persona telegraphs "honest broker." Educated at Stanford, Oxford and Yale Law School, he's also a popular mayor in one of America's toughest, most challenged cities. Open-minded and solution-oriented, he's what we hope for in public officials. Or say we do.

But honesty is not always a rewarding trait in politics, especially during high-stakes election years, as Booker promptly learned when he recently spoke from the heart on "Meet the Press." He said that attacks on Bain Capital, where Mitt Romney made a fortune, were "nauseating" to him, as were similar attacks from the right to resurrect the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

"I have to just say from a very personal level, I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity. To me, it's just this -- we're getting to a ridiculous point in America, especially that I know. I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, it ain't -- they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses."

Hearts leapt.

...continued

Copyright 2012 Washington Post Writers Group



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