Booker’s Last Campaign Event
The crowd at the political event seemed somber despite Senator Cory Booker’s electric mood. The ones closest to him in the crowd seemed to enjoy some of the energy he was putting off, but hardly any excitement made it to the back of the crowd where I was standing. Maybe it was something about his lower poll numbers that had depressed the moods of his once-faithful caucus-goers or the fact we had all been standing in the cold close to an hour before his speech ended. While there is certainly a question as to whether Sen. Booker has the support necessary to punch a ticket to New Hampshire, there is no question about the Senator’s enthusiasm.
One way or another throughout his campaign Sen. Booker has always been optimistic. From the beginning, the poll numbers never favored his campaign despite his best attempts. He took a loud role in the recent Kavanaugh hearings to almost no response, got in a twitter fight with Joe Biden without causing too much of a ripple, and has slowly slipped from being a fringe but exciting candidate to simply, a fringe candidate. Even through his financial challenges that pressured his campaign before Christmas time, he always found a way to keep going. Yet, not being able to appear on the stage where the skilled orator has the best chance to shine might mean the final blow against the candidate.
Even one student reporter from California mentioned during his house party he was truly an outstanding speaker. He can tell long stories about his parents and his own history that cause you to move in without thinking and learn to admire the candidate. He has fantastic stories of his own struggles as a potential mayor from his fight to get the position that pit him against a powerful political machine or how he cleaned up the streets and changed the course of the city. After listening to him talk for an hour it’s almost easy to forget that he currently holds a much more prestigious position in the senate over his entire state. The emotion behind his voice shows that he really believes deeply what he is saying. While he is a very effective speaker in these intimate settings, the debate stage does not give him the same flattering look.
The debate stage where candidates deal with a shorter time period and the pressure of millions watching can help some candidates, but certainly inhibits Sen. Booker’s message. The speed of the national stage does not favor him weaving stories and he has demonstrated he cannot change his tone in a manner that other candidates have been able to.
Without being able to inspire people to his team on the national media stage, things will surely be looking down for the Senator. This and his recent controversial filing for legislation that could potentially harm Iowan farmers means that his caucus race and presidential hopes are all but scattered to the wind. However, the Iowa caucus has produced unlikely victors’ numerous times and with a lot of luck and plenty of organizers, Sen. Booker may find himself with a ticket out of Iowa.