There’s one aspect of Mayor Cory Booker’s fit of candor that is being overlooked: Mayors and governors who have real management responsibilities in their states and home towns are all eager to attract private investment, be it through private equity or other sources. A bipartisan array of state leaders will meet investors at the airport wearing their Sunday shoes and their very best suits, in the hopes that these investors will leave some money behind in their communities.
President Obama is not going to find many outspoken critics of private investment among elected officials at the state and local level. These elected officials spend some part of every week, if not every day, trying to recruit the likes of Bain Capital to come to their states and shop for companies to buy. Obama is allowing his attacks on Mitt Romney to get away from him.
It was never going to be easy for him to be anti-private equity and pro-private investment. They’re the same thing. Booker probably did Obama a service by reminding elected Democrat officials that they had better keep quiet or they will alienate one of their two sources of outside funding — private investors just like Bain Capital, or the federal treasury purse strings, largely controlled by Obama in Washington.