New Jersey Cory Booker took the stage on the Democratic convention’s first night to support Hillary Clinton. The breakout filibuster star and universal good sport was one of several candidates believed to have been vetted by Clinton — he resisted the notion at first but then stopped denying it — for the VP slot that Virginia Senator Tim Kaine eventually won. Granted, Booker doesn’t hold all of the qualifications and the foreign policy appeal of Kaine, but some folks thought Booker’s ultra progressive ways would make him a suitable running mate to win Sanders supporters.
However, Clinton’s been rolling with the Bern lately and adopting his platform points, so her priorities changed. Booker speech proves that he’s more than alright with her choice, and he did not leave his usual brand of enthusiasm at home. The gifted orator raved about the “genius” Founding Fathers while still acknowledging their flaws. He asked contemporary America to do the same and “evolve to be a nation of love” rather than one simply of tolerance. He urged his fellow Democrats, “We must build bridges across our differences to pursue our common good.” Booker then delivered what can only be described as a full-on sermon by shouting his lines: “Rugged individualism didn’t map the human genome. We. Did. That. Together!” And his sticking point, which he repeated several times, included these words: “We. Will. Rise.”
Booker already sat prominently within the New Jersey and Washington D.C. maps. This evening, his stellar delivery placed him in national view, and it’s doubtful he’ll stay contained in the Senate forever. He will rise, just like his message. Booker insisted, “We need to be a country that doesn’t degrade or demean other folks, but elevates our nation and pulls us together.” This positive energy stands in sharp contrast to last week’s dark and apocalyptic Republican convention.
Here’s the most vigorous and rousing portion of Booker’s speech.