Smackdown, old school

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who has made no secret of his contempt for Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s announcement that he plans to run for Senate in 2014, wasted little time during his congressional dinner speech in swiping at the mayor with the Hollywood rolodex, feigning surprise that Booker chose not to attend the dinner.

“I thought traveling time out of the city was one of his favorite activities,” Lautenberg said.  “Perhaps we are too close to Newark.”

Booker has made few friends among Democrats with the rollout of his Senate bid as many feel he has all but annointed himself Lautenberg’s successor. Lautenberg, who is likely to announce his retirement in the coming weeks, last week said Booker needed a “spanking” much as he spanked his children when they got out of line.

For his part, Booker has attempted to walk back his early aggressiveness, saying he is still in the exploratory stages of his campaign.

"This meeting is entirely off the record. Until somebody leaks it."
—Michael Kempner, addressing a roomful of Democratic powerbrokers organizng for Hillary Clinton