Chris Christie vs. Cory Booker in 2013?


Cory Booker vs. Chris Christie in New Jersey?

Longtime New York City Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf, who has worked on New Jersey races, said he believes Booker will run for the U.S. Senate, not take on Christie.

"Why? It makes the most sense," Sheinkopf said. "The governor is hard to beat and Lautenberg is older and it will pressure Lautenberg to get out of the game."

Sheinkopf noted that "Booker is not unpopular" and Lautenberg would have the "race of his life at close to 90 years old. Does he want to do that?"

Sheinkopf said Christie also got a boost from his relationship with President Obama, an ostensible adversary, in the days after Hurricane Sandy pounded New Jersey. Just days before the 2012 election, Christie called the president "outstanding."

"There is no substitute for Christie and Obama walking together," Sheinkopf said. "The video will be playing over and over again ... Christie has been beatified by the population of New Jersey because of his Sandy response and his extraordinary personality during this crisis."

As for the likely pressure Booker is sure to receive to try and topple Christie, especially in light of the Republican governor's possible 2016 presidential aspirations, Sheinkopf said he shouldn't buckle.

"There will be pressure for Democrats to go after Christie because of 2016, but if Booker loses he is a crippled mayor of a crippled city," Sheinkopf said.

As Booker is deciding, Christie doesn't seem to be sweating it.

"Cory will make his decision when he makes his decision. I'm not worried about it, concerned about it, I've got a job to do," Christie said at a press conference, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. "Unfortunately for me I don't have the luxury of playing politics right now. I have a job to do and I'm doing my job."

This story has been updated since it was originally posted.

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