Welcome, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. I understand you have been running for president since you were elected mayor of Newark in 2006. I understand you want Democratic voters to believe that you are a man of the people. I understand that it will never happen for you, my friend.
On February 1st, Booker announced his candidacy and I’m already uninspired. He exhibits the standard qualities of your average Democrat. Booker is good on social issues like LGBT rights, women’s rights and marijuana legalization. But on issues that would risk hurting his corporate donors, the NJ senator falls in line with the rich and powerful, every time.
For example, in 2017, Bernie Sanders sponsored a bill that would reimport pharmaceutical drugs from Canada. America pays the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, and pharma companies are to blame. These companies legally bribe politicians like Cory Booker to vote in their interest and halt any legislation that could control their greed. Canada’s government isn’t perfect either, but they regulate their prices better than we do. So yes, Booker voted with Republicans to protect the pharmaceutical industry’s profits. He later gave a lame excuse about how the FDA had no way of regulating those drugs. But studies show that Canada does a better job with this as well.
Then, there’s his long held support for charter (private) schools. According to The Nation, charter schools hurt unionizing teachers, encourage discrimination and cost taxpayers more money than public schools. Cory Booker teamed up with Trump’s now Education Secretary Betsy Devos and the Walton family (of Wal-Mart) to privatize schools.
Remember that one time he defended Mitt Romney and Bain Capital (the predatory firm that took advantage of failing businesses) from Barack Obama during the 2012 election?
There’s also the overarching problem intertwined with all of this: money in politics. Cory Booker takes a ton of corporate money, regardless of his no-PAC pledge. In fact, he is the biggest recipient of Wall Street’s checks than any senator in Congress. More than the Republicans. So no matter what he says in his ads, or what some guy on Twitter tells you, Cory Booker is not for the 99%.
Can he win the nomination?
In the context of the Democratic race, Booker does not have many places to go. Millennials only have to look up his record to see his very pro-establishment leanings. I am not going to be that guy who assumes people of color will instantly flock to Booker (or Kamala Harris for that matter) just because. The upper middle class and rich will like him, but if the GOP primary in 2016 is any indication, this will be a crowded field of fellow establishment candidates. There’s simply no way for him to stand out other than his speechifying and his ads.
If he needed one state to launch him, South Carolina and its large African American population is the way to go. But Booker will still have to compete with Kamala Harris (AA woman), Joe Biden (Obama’s VP) and Bernie Sanders (so far has high popularity in non-white communities).
Can he win the general?
Here is my map, now powered by yapms.com:
My guess is that Booker will concede before South Carolina even casts a vote in the primary.