In a last-ditch effort to stimulate the Democratic base, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) prognosticated a “wave election” and a Senate victory should he win the party’s nomination. To echo Booker’s jab at former Vice President Joe Biden in a recent political reality television episode, the senator might have been high when he said it. Booker’s campaign is barely meeting fundraising goals and debate thresholds. It can be likened to a business that has failed to generate enough funds from an initial public offering (IPO) and whose finances are so bleak that receivership could soon be in the cards.
A Shattered Dream
Dream United, a super political action committee (PAC) formed to support Booker’s presidential candidacy, announced that it intends to suspend operations. The super PAC was founded by high-profile Democratic donor and activist Steve Philips, who helped raise campaign cash for politicians like former President Barack Obama and failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
After Sen. Booker bashed super PACs, wealthy donors showed little interest in contributing to Dream United. According to one disclosure submitted to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the organization raised just $1.1 million from a small number of contributors. Susan Sandler, Phillips’ wife, accounted for a large chunk of the cash.
Dream United said in a statement published on its website:
“We remain firm in our belief that Senator Cory Booker is uniquely qualified to unite and heal Americans across this country at this critical point in our history. Respecting the Senator’s publicly-stated sentiments about SuperPACs, Dream United will cease operations effective immediately.”
There has been some speculation that Phillips will transition his financial efforts to help other presidential candidates, including Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA). The most recent addition to the race has said he would accept PAC assistance to play “catch up” in his bid for the party’s nomination.
Booker’s funding issues have been documented by Liberty Nation’s resident political expert Joe Schaeffer, who reported on the senator’s “prove I matter to you” ultimatum. His campaign revealed that he needed to raise an extra $1.7 million by the end of September to keep his presidential aspirations alive. In a publicly released memo, the Booker campaign admitted: “Without a fundraising surge to close out this quarter, we do not see a legitimate long-term path forward.”
In the year leading up to the primary race, it was widely believed that the senator would be a heavy favorite to win the nomination, mainly because of his perceived star power since entering the Senate in 2013. But the polling data shows exactly why money is not flowing to his campaign: Booker is averaging 1.8% support. If these numbers continue, then there is a likelihood he will miss next month’s debate in Los Angeles or drop out before a vote is cast.
To date, the campaign has enjoyed Hail Marys. In the third quarter, Booker raised $6 million, which was the best fundraising three-month period for his campaign, but it fell short of the leading candidates’ totals. At the end of Q3, Booker imposed a $1.7 million fundraising goal in the final ten days of September, noting that if he did not raise this amount then he would have to drop out. He got the cash, but if that is how you need to raise money, it is not a sign of a healthy campaign.
By the Book
SoftBank, the Japanese multinational conglomerate, is reportedly having trouble raising the $108 billion it proposed for its second Vision Fund. The company is struggling to attract investors following facepalm WeWork-initial public offering (IPO) debacle. The office-sharing business has been in a freefall, withdrawing its bid to go public. Assessing investors’ appetite for WeWork, the market valued the firm between $15 billion and $18 billion, which is far less than the $47 billion SoftBank and WeWork were hoping for. So, without interest from traders, WeWork chose not to go public, and now it is experiencing a series of ramifications. For example, its $6 billion loan from banks has been scrapped because it was contingent on a successful sale of shares, so WeWork needs to locate alternative funding.
Who knew how comparable the company’s struggles would be to Sen. Booker’s?
Like WeWork, Booker was the next big thing: young, fresh, and bold, the one to deliver the goods if given the opportunity. However, like WeWork, Booker fizzled out, failed to capture the public’s imagination, and now continually searches for a bailout.
Both parties are just one step closer to receivership, a form of bankruptcy.
WeWork is billions in debt and most investors think that it will, at the very least, have incredible difficulty paying down its obligations. Booker’s campaign has about $4 million in cash on hand with a $705,000 tab; the remaining funds will potentially be gone as his campaign is spending big bucks on ad buys in Iowa for a chance to qualify for the December event.
Throw the Booker at Him
Booker’s campaign has been an uninspiring one, filled with empty platitudes and a feigned self-portrayal of a leader who will unite a fractured nation. To date, he has not presented any original policy proposals or uttered unique statements, though he has delivered a few zingers at former Vice President Joe Biden’s expense. The Booker tent has been a replica of all the talking points presented by the 2020 hopefuls. The senator has been a carbon copy of his colleagues, whether it is former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro or Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). In 20 years, nobody is going to say, “Humph. I wonder what Cory Booker would think about this issue.” Perhaps this explains why most Americans are not filling up his campaign coffers with their hard-earned dollars.
Read more from Andrew Moran.