Cory Booker serves in the U.S. Senate with Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Chris Christie is his New Jersey governor. He went to Oxford University with Bobby Jindal, he was a fellow mayor with Martin O’Malley, and he has worked closely with Hillary Clinton in various roles.
“This is one of the rare times in my life when I knew everybody who was running,” the former Newark, N.J., mayor said of the once-crowded presidential field while in Buffalo on Monday. “I can actually speak not only objectively from afar, but I also got to know them as people.”
And he’s an unabashed supporter of Clinton.
Just hours before Sanders was scheduled to make a visit to Buffalo on Monday evening, Booker came to town on a twin mission – to support Clinton for president and urge Democrats to vote.
Booker, 46, who has represented New Jersey in the Senate for 2½ years, spent the morning and early afternoon speaking with three groups: local ministers, a mostly senior citizen crowd and some young professionals. The meetings took place at Elim Christian Fellowship and True Bethel Baptist Church.
“I believe that we are losing, through policy choices, a lot of things that have made us great as a nation,” he said.
Booker charmed the crowd with good-natured jabs at his old friend and colleague, Mayor Byron W. Brown, and a few exchanges in Spanish with some senior citizens.
It’s not Booker’s style to bash others publicly. During his 45-minute speech, he called Sanders a “beloved member” of the Senate.
“Every one of us has affection for him in the Democratic caucus,” he said of the Vermont senator, “but not one of us is endorsing him.”
After one of his appearances, Booker was asked about all the talk listing him as a possible choice to be Clinton’s running mate, provided she wins the Democratic presidential nomination.
“It’s obviously flattering to hear,” he replied, “but it’s a distraction from the urgency of the moment – to have her become the Democratic nominee.”