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Is Senator Booker Auditioning for the Presidency or a Daytime Drama?

One of my Washington, DC reporter friends once said, "Cory Booker has a great career lined up on 'Days of Our Lives' or some other soap opera after his time in public service is over." The dramatic Democratic senator from New Jersey has a penchant for expressive facial reactions and sappy language when trying to score political points.  Sen. Booker's theatric flair was again on display this week as the potential 2020 presidential candidate waxed poetic phrases how America has broken his heart and things are "savagely wrong in this country." 


In a video picked by the Daily Wire's Ryan Sevedra, Sen. Booker addressed Netroots 2018 in New Orleans earlier this week. In his full dramatic expression, Booker delivered a monologue replete with his emphatic facial expressions in what looks like an attempt to denote heartache and sadness at the direction of this country. 

"We say an oath that we are a nation of liberty and justice for all, but that’s just words. It’s a civic faith, but I’m one of these people that says before you tell me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people," Sen. Booker said. 

"Well, how are we living our civic gospel?" Booker questioned. "How are we living our civic gospel that demands for us to reject the normalcy of injustice, the normalcy of apathy, the normalcy of indifference, and rise to the higher ground of activism, of engagement of love?"

Then, the New Jersey senator really dug in and gave it his all with his supposed concern.

"I’m a big believer that if America, if this country hasn’t broken your heart, then you don’t love her enough," Booker stated. "Because there’s things that are savagely wrong in this country. There’s a normalcy of injustice that we’ve accepted. And I tell you, Newark has gifted me a wisdom that can only come from moons, a sense of purpose that can only come from shared pain."

But readers should note this is actually Sen. Booker's at least second performance speech using that phrase. 


This is typical for politicians, but the line can only be said so many times before one starts to judge the sincerity of it. Here he is in June using this saying in Washington:

That vaunted Newark wisdom, by the way, apparently was not quite appreciated by the city's actual citizens. There is a story that is told about Booker heroically delivering pampers to a mother of five during a snowstorm. But, in the mother's own words, she wanted her street plowed, not childcare supplies. Here is her account from a 2016 Politico article touting Sen. Booker as a potential vice president candidate for  Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"...And to the residents who forked over big increases in fees and taxes, there remains a gnawing suspicion that Booker cared more about the optics of a social media moment than actually delivering on basic city services.

Barbara Byers is one of them. Remember that emergency diaper delivery? That was her.

“He did come and bring me Pampers,” Byers told me recently on Highland Avenue. Back in 2010, her brother had tweeted at Booker three days after a massive snowstorm that Byers could not get out and was running out of diapers. Booker, as he was fond of saying on his Twitter feed, was “on it.”

Byers laughed at the memory and thinks everyone missed the point: Booker, she said, focused on the individual heroics because the larger task of managing city services eluded him.

“The only reason he brought me Pampers was that it had been three days and our street hadn’t been plowed,” she said. “I have five kids and, trust me, I don’t just run out of Pampers. All we wanted was for him to plow our streets. It’s about knowing how to manage a city.” (emphasis added)


Perhaps if Sen. Booker spent less time on his acting skills and more time working on government solutions, those streets would have been cleared for Ms. Byers. Sen. Booker's latest display of raw thespian talent can be watched here.

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