During his time as Newark Mayor, Cory Booker has seen his star rise and brighten among the ranks of the Democratic Party. He is young and charismatic. He is used for campaigns and speaks to the rational and centrist mindset and voice that sometimes gets lost in the shouting matches of the far left and far right. With his ascension, he has had his name linked to 2013 and 2014 and potential elections. With 2013, he has shot down a run against Governor Chris Christie. But with 2014, he is much more open to the idea of challenging Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in a possible primary and become a U.S. Senator. Booker would use the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC this past September as an opportunity to mingle with Democratic Party officials on the national level and state levels while continuing to get his name out to those beyond Newark and New Jersey. It can be seen as part of his pivot to his next chapter.
Speaking to a group of Democrats in a behind closed door during the convention week, Booker would voice;
"This party (when talking about the Republican Party) has taken such a dramatic swing to the right."
He would use this platform to not only speak to the GOP's problems, but focus on a couple of key issues that were prominent conversation pieces like women's rights. Booker would have a platform on the convention stage. It was not a priimetime slot, but he took his "dinner time" slot to its fullest and ran with it. He gave a passionate speech at 5pm that would be worthy of a later spot on the day's agenda.
Speaking to the crowd, Booker would express;
“This platform (the Democratic Party platform) is a clear choice between economic pathways: forward or back, inclusion or exclusion, grow together as a nation or be a country of savage disparities that favor the fortunate few over the greatest driving force of any economy – a large and robust middle class."
He would continue,
“It is our fundamental national aspiration that no matter who you are, no matter what color or creed, how you choose to pray or who you choose to love, that if you are a citizen of the United States of America… one who is willing to work hard, play by the rules and apply your god given talents, you should be able to find a job that pays the bills, you should be able to afford health care for your family, you should be able to retire with dignity and respect. And you should be able to give your children the kind of education that allows them to dream even bigger, to go even further, and accomplish more than you could ever imagine. This is our platform.”
The speech further fired up the crowd and got them chanting his name.
He is regularly on CNN or Meet the Press and valued in national conversations beyond Newark and New Jersey. Could a run one day for governor be on the table? Does Booker have his sights on the nation's capital in the short term? He continues to build his own platform and awareness while fighting for causes of his residents and at times, the nation. Consider September and the Democratic National Convention as Booker's opportunities to make a pivot and open himself up to a national audience on a big political stage. How he uses that is still a work in progress.