Cory Booker’s 2016 Paul Tsongas problem?

There were contingency considerations in private conversations at that Hillary Clinton confab last Thursday night. Among the closeSenator_Paul_Tsongas quarters discussion topics: what if “Hillary” doesn’t run for president after all?

Someone mentioned the name U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), the junior senator from New Jersey, who’s up for re-election for a full, six-year term next week.

Would Booker run for president in a Clinton vacuum?

At least one source who attended the meeting said a Booker run for president would be ill-advised, referring to the late Paul Tsongas’ doomed 1992 Democratic Primary candidacy and noting the electorate’s penchant to “correct” away from what it has experienced for eight years, in this case a young, charismatic, inspirational African-American with little D.C. experience.

A policy wonky Greek American from Massachusetts, Tsongas reminded voters of Mike Dukakis, the 1988 Democratic nominee for president.

He won the New Hampshire Primary, but failed to stop Bill Clinton, who won the 1992 Democratic nomination for president.

Booker would be “too-Obama-like,” said the source, referring to the polls-encumbered African-American president, and – in the realm of pure pragmatic politics – a bad alternative to Clinton, in the opinion of the source. Cory Booker’s 2016 Paul Tsongas problem?