Person of Interest: US Senator Cory Booker

                        by David Parmer / Tokyo

Is US Senator Cory Booker “the real deal?” Well, it depends who you talk to. The senator is not without his critics, but it often looks like they have to work hard to find things to criticize him for. For instance, Booker was Mayor of Newark, New Jersey from 2006-2013. In that time he did not eliminate crime (although crime rates fell during his tenure) or put an end to poverty in the city, but then he never promised to do so. Downtown development received a boost however, but school system reforms were sluggish.

In 2013 Mayor Booker ran for the US senate and was elected as Democratic junior senator from New Jersey. Senator Booker is considered a liberal, but it seems that he is more pragmatic than dogmatic, taking positions that that can be seen at times liberal, libertarian and even pro-business. So again there has been criticism from both left and right.

Cory Booker was born on April 27, 1969 to middle-class African-American parents. He played football in high school and at Stanford University where he earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. He then went on to Oxford University where he took a degree in American History. Finally, he followed this up with a law degree from Yale University.

While mayor, Booker was known as a “hands on” type guy. There are several incidents on record where he took personal action to help voters, and to sort things out. He is reported to have shoveled snow for an elderly constituent, saved someone from a burning building and opened his home to New Jersey residents after hurricane Sandy.

Cory Booker was considered for vice president by the Democrats in 2016. And it is too bad that it didn’t happen. A Biden-Booker ticket might have been able to defeat Donald Trump. Now politicians and voters are looking forward to the 2020 presidential elections.

Already many names have been put forward, but, as yet, Cory Booker is not mentioned as a front-runner or even a serious contender. Perhaps the defeated Democratic Party needs to sort itself out first. Whatever happens, Senator Booker will surely be in the 2020 mix. His is a name to remember.

Photo: Cory Booker, US Senate