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Cory Booker's 2020 Ambitions could be weighed down by his rise to power in the Soprano State

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19.02.2019

For years there has been speculation that Senator Cory Booker would run for President even as he was assembling the required resume to make such a bid.

There’s no doubt the nation is better off because Cory Booker is one of 100 people that populates what the Constitution’s framers intended to be our nation’s deliberative body.

His signature First Step Act, which reforms the Federal sentencing system that for decades promoted the draconian and immoral mass incarceration of millions of people primarily of color, would be a lifetime legacy all by itself.

Certainly as charming and charismatic as Senator Barack Obama was in 2008, his resume as a presidential candidate didn’t contain anything nearly as substantial.

As the Brennan Center For Social Justice observed, the First Step Act was essential to reverse the Federal government’s bi-partisan get tough on crime strategy that resulted in a 700 percent increase in the population of the Federal prison system since 1980 as the system treated drug abuse and addiction as a criminal matter as opposed to a public health crisis.

And it would be safe to say, you don’t get to Booker’s deep understanding of the magnitude of the damage done by America’s misguided ‘war on drugs’ unless you have the granular understanding he has of what it does to communities of color like Newark where generations of children were orphaned by it leaving an army of grandparents to raise them.

Booker’s success at herding a Noah’s arc-like menagerie of political figures that included Jared Kushner, as well as conservatives Republican Senators Charles Grassley and Mike Lee, is tangible evidence of his facility for translating his personal engagement of wealthy and powerful individuals into being part of advances for the collective well being.

And yet, as we suffer through the chaotic first term of President Trump, it would be wise for prospective supporters to delve more deeply into that transactional aspect of Booker’s biography that’s played out right here in the Soprano State to discern just what baggage the Senator might carry.

Elections are by definition an exercise in comparisons.

And if Democrats are to be successful in painting Donald Trump as self-dealing and acting for his own benefit, rather than the national interest, how will they draw that contrast........

© Salon