Cory Booker: A Candidate Close-Up
by Amaya Oswald and D.S. Mitchell
Introduction to Cory Booker
As of February 1st, 2019, Cory Booker is officially running for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination. As of March 20, 2019, he now makes up one of sixteen Democrats running. And there are at least 2-3 other hopefuls still on the sidelines, including former Vice President, Joe Biden.
Middle Class Cory
Cory Anthony Booker was born in 1969, in Washington, D.C. His parents were among the first black executives hired at IBM. Cory grew up in a strong middle class home in Harrington Park, New Jersey. His family was religious. It is easy to imagine. Sometimes when he is giving a stump speech you can almost feel the revival coming on. All we need is a little foot stomping to make it happen.
Cory Booker seems to be a bit of an overachiever in my eyes. Cory was a damn good student and a damn good athlete. He was good enough in football to be named to the 1986 USA Today ALL-USA High School Team. He continued to play football and was a tight end for Stanford. Even in this more competitive environment Cory was named to the PAC-10 Academic Team. Additionally he found time to be elected class president, at least once. He earned a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Master’s in Sociology. He got a Rhodes Scholar appointment and received an Honors Degree in U.S. History. And he topped all that off with a Juris Doctorate in 1997, from Yale Law School. WOW. That deserves some respect.
All wrapped up in top student, top athlete, top candidate there is a bit of a stunt man and carnival barker. Cory Booker in 1998 won a seat on the Newark, N.J. Municipal Council. While he was councilman he went on a 10 day hunger strike and set up a tent in a crime infested neighborhood to highlight the city’s drug problem .
Mayor of Newark
He tried for the mayor position in 2002, but lost. He tried again in 2006 and won becoming the 36th Mayor in Newark’s history. While Mayor, Booker would often go out with ‘first responders’ to answer calls. On one occasion he ran into a burning building and brought out a woman suffering from smoke inhalation. On another occasion he responded to a senior citizen’s home and proceeded to shovel the man’s sidewalk. And who could forget when the mayor discovered a freezing dog. A hands-on activist, Booker literally protested Newark’s urban development plan. Are these actions based on genuine human concern, or just attention seeking behavior? I imagine, at least a little of both.