Newark mayor Cory Booker has made it known that he has his sights set on the Senate seat of fellow democrat Frank Lautenberg in 2014. It's a pretty brash move: Lautenberg has served as New Jersey's senator for nearly three decades, and is the Senate's last remaining World War II veteran. He's turning 89 tomorrow. Typically, dignified, elderly public servants such as him are not publicly forced aside by members of their own party old enough to be their grandchildren.
But next to the fresh-faced, Twitter-savvy Booker, does Lautenberg's advanced age work against him, or for him? Talking to a reporter today, Lautenberg seemed to bet on the latter:
Booker has already formed a 2014 campaign committee, prompting anonymous Lautenberg aides to rip the mayor to Politico, accusing him of being "disrespectful." I asked Lautenberg about that characterization this afternoon.
"I have four children, I love each one of them. I can't tell you that one of them wasn't occasionally disrespectful, so I gave them a spanking and everything was okay," Lautenberg said with a smile in his first public comments since Booker announced he was considering a run for Senate.
Coming soon to Twitter: Cory Booker live-tweets his spanking.