NJ Politics Digest: Does Cory Booker Need to Get Angry?

Cory Booker at the "Justice For All" Kickoff Tour in Newark, N.J. on April 13, 2019.
Cory Booker at the “Justice For All” Kickoff Tour in Newark, N.J. on April 13, 2019. Jason Bergman

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker launched his presidential bid with the promise that he was a leader who could bring Americans together in the wake of a polarizing and harmful Donald Trump presidency.

But, as Politico points out, Booker is finding that his message of love isn’t gaining traction among Democratic voters who are angry with the president for his fear-mongering and inflammatory rhetoric. The Democratic voters are seeking more decisive change and a harsher denunciation of the Republican party as a whole, who they see as enabling the president in order to further their agenda.

Booker is seeking to reboot his campaign as it lags in the polls and in fundraising behind such candidates as former Vice President Joe Biden (who has not even officially entered the race yet) and Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. Booker is also lagging behind former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who rose to the national stage last year for his impressive challenge of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and the charismatic mayor of South Bend, Ind., Pete Buttigieg, according to Politico.

Booker is hoping his two-week “Justice For All” national tour will help him make up for lost ground. During the tour, Booker is focusing on economic policy proposals and social justice messaging, Politico reports. That includes expanding the earned-income tax credit and expanding voting rights.

The report, however, notes that the primary is still very much in its early stages (the Iowa caucus is in early February of next year), and that while Booker might be finding it hard to stand out in the crowded Democratic field as of yet, his message of unity is something that many Americans claim to want. A poll in Iowa showed that 50 percent of respondents said that it was “absolutely critical” that a 2020 candidate be someone who can heal the many divides in this country.

Quote of the Day: “People, when they heard there was a tax, cancelled their reservations, either saying they’re not going to go on vacation or they’re going to look for different areas outside of New Jersey,” —Denise Payne, who rents a home in Beach Haven, on customers reacting to the new state tax on short-term rentals.

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NJ Politics Digest: Does Cory Booker Need to Get Angry?