If Booker is Clinton’s VP, Implications for Raimondo and RI

Monday, July 04, 2016


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Gina Raimondo and Cory Booker's deep history could have future implications.

New Jersey U.S. Senator Cory Booker and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo are very close personal and political friends. The two started their friendship at Oxford University in England when Booker and Raimondo were both Rhodes Scholars. Raimondo’s husband, Andy Moffit, was roommates with Booker at Yale University Law School. 

Now, Booker appears to be on the short list for VP for Hillary Clinton.

‘Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on Sunday reopened the door to speculation that he could be Hillary Clinton's running mate when he appeared to back off his previous assertion that he is not being vetted by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee,” reported the Washington Post.

If Booker were to be tapped for the Vice Presidential nomination, and the Clinton-Booker ticket were to win in November, the implications could be profound for Raimondo.

Obviously, Booker is not a shoo-in. Booker along with U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Governor Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez (a Brown University grad) are the leading candidates.

For Raimondo, who has been revamping her administration - replacing Chief-of-staff Steve Neuman and Joy Fox with veteran David Cruise and Steve Raia in an effort to improve relations and sharpen the message -- a Booker nod could be consequential if Clinton prevails. 

Raimondo and Booker

The implications for Raimondo and Rhode Island could be profound. Raimondo has long been rumored to be interested in a slot in the Clinton Administration, and went all in for the Rhode Island Presidential primary hosting Bill Clinton twice and Hilary Clinton one in the final ten days of the primary -- and by doing so infuriated the supporters of Bernie Sanders for her efforts on behalf of Clinton. 

Sanders crushed Clinton in Rhode Island. “Sanders victory for Rhode Island is confirmation of an anti-establishment sentiment in Rhode Island, and that's not particularly good news for Governor Raimondo.  Any public official who closely aligns with a candidate who loses the state in the primary creates some reason for consternation,” said Professor Val Endress of Rhode Island College, in an interview with GoLocalProv Primary night in April.

Having Booker in the White House, or more specifically in the Old Executive Office Building next door, would be good for Raimondo and her effort to get tapped for a top position in the Clinton Administration. Meanwhile, Raimondo is wrestling with an approval rating in the 20 percent range in RI.

How Close?

Over a five-year period while Booker was Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, he donated five times to Raimondo totaling $3,250 and helped direct her hire of his former Deputy Mayor, Stefan Pryor, as head of RI’s Commerce Corporation. 

Pryor led Newark’s economic development from 2006 to 2011 and then left to serve as Connecticut’s Education Commissioner. Then, Pryor after a difficult tenure as education chief jumped to Rhode Island, where he wrestled with the much-maligned tourism campaign roll-out. 


Related Slideshow: Governor Raimondo’s 38 Studios Transcript


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