Folks, I know about rural white voters because I read a book about them. That’s what Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said at the recent Ideas Conference hosted by the left wing Center for American Progress. He said that this is how he prepares to leave the coastal bastions of the Democratic Party, who hate rural voters, when he travels into Trump country.
“I've had the privilege now of traveling to mid-western communities, traveling to the rural south, traveling out west,” said the New Jersey Democrat. “I read books like Hillbilly Elegy and everything I can to try to understand other folks, and when I read books like that, I’m thinking to myself ‘oh my God, these folks have so much in common with folks that live in my neighborhood.’”
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), a vulnerable red state Democrat, has invited Booker to campaign with her, despite Booker being against her on one of her pet issues, reducing the prices of prescription drugs. Yet, McCaskill needs all the help she can get. Maybe she’s looking for Booker to energize black Democrats in her state, who are not impressed with her; McCaskill is having trouble mobilizing them. For Booker, it allows the media to paint him as a senator looking to reach out to all Americans, get in touch with rural voters, get his name out there, and increase his public profile. He’s pulling an Obama, who was top brand. Booker is more Great Value caliber. And if he thinks he can sway Trump voters because he’s read books about them, I think he, like his party, is out-of-touch and overshooting the mark (again). Being hemmed in by the cities and the coasts, chock full of well-to-do voters who denigrate, mock, and spit on rural voters because they’re not educated enough, rich enough, or well-spoken enough has left an indelible mark on America’s left wing party. Yet, the New Jersey senator is being persistent. Booker is planning a red state farmer’s tour (via Free Beacon):
Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) said in a new interview he is planning a "red state farmers tour," raising more speculation he will run for the White House in 2020.
In an interview with Yahoo‘s Hunter Walker, Booker said the tour of such states was not going to be a "public listening" campaign. He did not specify in the report which states those might be.
"We’re going to do it and not tell anybody we're doing it," he said.
"We’re not going to be doing it with lots of media coverage."
Again, from 30,000 feet, this isn’t a bad thing. On its face, it’s something that Democrats should be doing. The problem is the base of Democratic Party wants nothing to do with rural voters. They’ve already written off half the country as deplorable racists. And given the geographical location of the potential 2020 class, rural voters should be highly skeptical of their outreach. For starters, they’re mostly liberal northeastern Democrats. Second, because there is going to be a primary and the base hates white working class voters, the field will undoubtedly move to accommodate the resist ethos that’s permeated the progressive ascendant wing of the Democratic Party. There’s a shelf life to this ‘how do you do, fellow rural voters’ sales pitch some in the Democratic Party are throwing out there. With Trump, these voters see an economy that’s coming back, millions of workers receiving bonuses, and over 250 companies benefiting from the tax reform package. Why would they toss that aside and trust a Democrat, whose base of support hates these people.
Twitchy captured the reaction to Booker's summer reading list:
Gillibrand - NY— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) May 15, 2018
Booker - NJ
Harris - CA
Warren - MA
Steyer - CA
Biden - DE
Sanders - VT
Murphy - CT
But yes guys, keep talking about how in touch you all are with the heartland "hillbilly elegy folks"
Booker says he’s traveled across the country, to the South, “I’ve read books like hillbilly elegy, everything I can to try to understand folks - they have so much in common with people in my neighborhood.”— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) May 15, 2018
Come on. https://t.co/D3lYhIDeas— Josh Holmes (@HolmesJosh) May 15, 2018
"good Afternoon fellow poor people"— Tom (@buttesex) May 15, 2018
"Look, I too have tried Fentanyl at a meth house somewhere in Appalachia with the folks, where is not really important.."— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) May 15, 2018