Cory Booker Missing in Action: New Jersey Politics Erupts in Flames…

By criticizing Republicans like Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh—who was nominated to the Supreme Court—through his extensive social media following and cable news appearances, Democratic senator from New Jersey, Cory Booker, gives the impression that he is a moral authority in the Capitol.

In the case of New Jersey, a state that has recently been under the microscope for all the wrong reasons, he is somewhat more confused.

It took Booker a few days after his buddy and colleague Bob Menendez was indicted twice to join the chorus demanding that he resign from the Senate. Following Monday’s indictment of George Norcross, the state’s veteran Democratic kingmaker, by a state grand jury, Booker now speaks in broad platitudes.

When questioned about the allegations against Norcross, Booker stated in an interview, “Anytime you see public figures getting indicted it’s a sad time for our state.” He added that he hadn’t read the indictment yet. “You should be worried about this.”

For all time, Booker will be remembered in New Jersey Headlines in a special way. He rejects the kind of ruthless tactics that Norcross practices and instead praises compromise and kindness. Beyond 2025, no Democrat other than Booker will have held statewide office, barring extraordinary circumstances.

The fact that Booker must keep ties and alliances with some of the most aggressive politicians in America while simultaneously trying to live above the fray is shown by his restrained response, which is indicative of the reality of straddling both worlds.

In her bid to depose Republican Representative Tom Kean Jr., Democratic challenger Sue Altman—a former director of the Working Families Party group—said, “When people have come up through a certain system, it becomes very difficult to criticize that system.” Republicans are a good example of this. Among Democrats, this is evident. However, I take heart in the fact that Democrats in New Jersey are increasingly prioritizing transparency, inclusion, and reform.

Booker isn’t the only one keeping quiet about Norcross, who is known to inspire dread in both his supporters and his detractors. No one spoke out Monday about the indictment of a prominent political figure in New Jersey, from the governor on down to the members of the legislature.

As Attorney General Matt Platkin read the charges of a criminal “enterprise” spanning ten years, Norcross sat rebelliously in the front row during the press conference announcing his indictment.

Though Booker gained notoriety mostly on his own, Norcross eventually became an ally and has been instrumental in raising money and donating to Booker ever since he became a senator ten years ago.

Jersey City mayor and 2025 gubernatorial contender Steven Fulop brought attention to the fact that the majority of New Jersey’s congressional delegation has remained silent on the matter on social media.

“Seller. Seller. Seller. I get that Mondays in Congress can be slow, but seriously, only two comments for the whole state? Democratic Representatives Josh Gottheimer and Mikie Sherrill—who subsequently released a statement—were tagged by Fulop in an X post in which they were expected to face off for the Democratic candidacy.

Not even Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.), who led the charge to demand Menendez’s resignation and would almost certainly assume the Senate seat after receiving the Democratic nominee, specifically mentioned Norcross.

It’s clear that NJ Headlinesforever is seeing a great deal of upheaval, according to Kim. Our democracy will be stronger, more accountable, and more representative of the people, in my opinion, when all is all said and done.

Asked about the Norcross indictment on Monday, Booker used the word “disturbing” to describe it. He did, however, warn the press that the presumption of innocence applies to all individuals. He has used a similar strategy before, but he elaborated on Trump’s indictment in Manhattan last year, saying that a grand jury “has decided that there is enough evidence to charge former President Trump with committing a crime.”

The mayor of Camden is also involved, he said again, but Norcross is the main emphasis.

New Jersey politicians, including Democrats and Republicans, were “very afraid of taking on George Norcross directly,” according to Altman, which is why it was difficult to form a coalition against the South Jersey Democratic machine. Those worries also don’t disappear without a trace. Until George Norcross is found guilty, I believe that New Jersey’s politicians, regardless of party, will display a lack of bravery.

Many activists are not surprised by Norcross’ indictment, said to Patricia Campos-Medina, who ran for Menendez’s seat but lost the Democratic nomination to Kim. However, she emphasized that Democrats’ reluctance to discuss the accusations is equally problematic.

Similar to the Night King in “Game of Thrones,” Campos-Medina said that Norcross was the Night King of New Jersey Headlines forever. If you were interested in running for a state office, you were required to go to Norcross. So, he was quite outspoken on public servants.

“No one is speaking out because they are uncertain of the extent to which the tentacles will grasp this issue,” she elaborated later.

It is not unusual for other Democrats to react mutedly to the Norcross indictment, according to former New Jersey senator Bob Torricelli. People “long ago dismissed the notion that it was serious” because there had been years of talk about Norcross being investigated.

The majority of the silence, according to Torricelli, is due to the fact that it is unexpected. Since Booker advanced in the ranks without Norcross’s substantial support, he is “not really identified” with him.

The indictment against Menendez, Booker’s friend and colleague who is currently facing his second bribery trial, is another “problematic” one, he said.

In his testimony for Menendez, “he took a risk,” Torricelli remarked. “His commitment to his friendship with Menendez is admirable, but I can see that it was difficult for him.”

Campos-Medina argued that Democrats must also be held responsible if Republicans and Trump are to be held accountable for their lies.

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