New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, a rising star in the Democrat Party, announced on Friday morning that he is running for the presidency in 2020.
In a video posted to social media, Booker speaks to the destiny of those people born in the United States and to those who choose it as their home. He said the country needs to do better to help those who are “forgotten” and, throughout the campaign video, Booker echoes sentiments of destiny and purpose.
The 2-minute-and-25-second video seemed intended to paint Booker as a member of Newark, New Jersey, and not as a Washington insider. He is shown speaking with people around the community and at one point he is getting his haircut at a local barbershop. The video repeatedly shows local school band members playing instruments.
As USA Today reports, Booker said: “I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind. It is not a matter of can we, it’s a matter of do we have the collective will, the American will? I believe we do.”
“I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind; where parents can put food on the table; where there are good-paying jobs with good benefits in every neighborhood; where our criminal justice system keeps us safe, instead of shuffling more children into cages and coffins; where we see the faces of our leaders on television and feel pride, not shame,” Booker continued, as ABC News reports.
“It is not a matter of ‘can we,’ it’s a matter of ‘do we have’ the collective will, the American will? I believe we do,” Booker said. “Together, we will channel our common pain back into our common purpose. Together, America, we will rise.”
ABC News reports the timing of Booker’s announcement was intentionally chosen:
The launch of Booker’s campaign on Feb. 1, the first day of Black History Month, appears not to be a coincidence, particularly after Sen. Kamala Harris’ similar commencement of her presidential run on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In addition to Harris, D-Calif., Booker joins Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. — with whom Booker is close personal friends — as members of the Senate seeking the Democratic nomination. At least five other Democrats have also declared.
Watch the campaign video below:
USA Today adds:
Coming to prominence as mayor of Newark, then becoming New Jersey’s first African-American senator after winning a special election in 2013 to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s term, Booker can point to a record of backing liberal policies, from marriage equality and abortion rights to marijuana legalization and criminal-justice reform.
In December, Booker was central to a bipartisan effort to pass historic changes to tough-on-crime prison and sentencing laws that then gained Trump’s signature.
But Democrats are wary of Booker’s ties to Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry, relationships Booker has tried to downplay in recent months by, for example, renouncing contributions from corporate PACs but ones that could hurt him among progressive voters.