Presidental Hopeful Cory Booker Visits Adel Family Fun Center

Photo by Paige Jansen
Cory Booker reflects on what he has learned as Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. “I may have gotten my B.A. at Stanford, but I got my PhD on the streets of Newark.”

Thunderous applause filled the Adel Family Fun Center on December 20th, 2019 as Senator Cory Booker stepped onto the bowling lanes. He embraced owners Kale and Bryce Smith with a hug. Bryce, the Chair of Dallas County Democrats had just endorsed Booker. “He has proven to me time and time again that showing up isn’t just what we need to do. We also need to roll up our selves and get to work,” Bryce said during his opening speech before welcoming Booker on.

Booker cuts right to the chase, explaining the reasons why he is running for president. “I am running because, in order to get the big things done, we have to have a revival of civic grace in this country. We have to energize a more courageous empathy for one another. We have to recognize that the lives that bind us as a nation are nowhere near as strong as the ties that bind us,” He said. “The call of our country right now is the call to put more indivisibles back into this one nation under God. This has been the story of my life.” He reflected on his time as Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, quoting his dad about what sparked him to become mayor of one of the poorest cities in the state. “It is not about the degrees you get, it is about the service you give.”

The night before the rally was the sixth Democratic debate in Los Angeles, where seven candidates qualified to address voters on national television. Booker was not one of the seven. “This is frustrating to me, that they have these criteria,” he said in response to not being on stage. “They try to decide from states where most people haven’t even made up their minds yet.” He began to speak about his campaign in Iowa.” We are the top of the field at endorsements from local officials. We have seen the poll numbers grow. I am going to ask everybody now, seeing that there is probably going to be one or two more Iowa polls to qualify for the next debate.” He finished up his statement, adding, “If they call your house, choose Cory Booker, even if you are undecided because he deserves to be on the stage and Iowa deserves to hear from him.”

Booker made sure to put humor into his words, poking fun at some former Presidents and President Trump. “They say you often go from opposites in presidencies. There was George Bush, who you would want to hang out and have a beer with, to college professor Barack Obama. I think the right opposite for Donald Trump, looking at his hair, is me.” he said pointing at his bald head, the crowd erupting with laughter.

On a more serious note, Booker brought up a well-received point.  “Why do I talk about values like empathy? Not just because it’s a feel-good emotion, it is always going to be the better thing for society overall. ” He tied in the importance of empathy by tying in his experience as the mayor of Newark.” As a guy who ran a city, I found out that the more our city used our values, the more it drove down costs. What’s more expensive, having someone with a mental illness homeless on the streets or in housing?” Booker answered this question by explaining a study done in Seattle that proved that housing is cheaper. “A mentally ill homeless person on the streets usually ends up in the E.R .or our jails. We love the jails for our homeless people or our poor people. Ninety percent of people who are jailed can’t afford their own attorney. This is what I’m saying, we do all this stuff that is just wrong!”

As the 7th democratic debate (held at Drake University on January 14th) quickly approaches, so does Booker’s time to get to five percent he needs in the pools he needs to qualify. Despite the odds, Booker keeps on bookin’.