When Cory Booker was scheduled to speak at his 2020 presidential kickoff rally in Newark, NJ on Saturday, he must have been quite optimistic. I mean, Bernie Sanders had 13,000 people at his kickoff rally, and Kamala Harris had 20,000. So things looked good for Booker.
Not only was he going to be in his home territory where he served as mayor from 2006-2013, but he was pumped and the weather was going to be nice. Sounds like a recipe for success, right? Wrong.
As reported by Business Insider:
The weather was perfect for Democratic Sen. Cory Booker’s 2020 kickoff rally in Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday, but the sunshine was apparently not enough of a draw for locals to come out and support their former mayor.
Newark police were reportedly planning for up to 10,000 people to show up at the rally. The venue, Military Park in the city’s historic downtown, was full of open space.
Ouch! You know that the event was really a dud when even CNN had to report negatively:
The crowd, which ultimately numbered between 4,000 and 4,300, according to Newark police, was slow to arrive, and the program was delayed by roughly an hour.Booker tried to drum up excitement for the event on social media and in a series of local media appearances this week, touting the event’s “block party atmosphere,” including food trucks and entertainment for children.“We’re doing the launch in our home,” Booker said in one local radio interview. “I don’t know if there’s ever been a presidential campaign launched from Brick City.”A Booker campaign aide, downplaying questions about turnout, said the event was “meant to have a vibe of a hometown BBQ … It’s not meant to be a traditional ‘rally.’ “But it bore all the markers of one — with patriotic bunting and the campaign’s slogan, “Justice For All,” displayed prominently onstage and atop bleachers for the crowd. A massive American flag hung from a nearby building, and a marching band warmed up the crowd, along with a roster of state political figures including Gov. Phil Murphy and US Sen. Bob Menendez.
That must have hit hard for the 2020 hopeful in and of itself. But to make matters worse, the other only newsworthy element of the rally was centered around a protest from a pro-Palestinian group from Rutgers University.
As reported by USA Today:
A small group of activists holding Palestinian flags interrupted Booker with chants of “from Palestine to Mexico, borders have to go.”
Sabrina Ahmed of Whippany explained the protesters believed Booker wasn’t vocal enough in support of Palestine, decrying his acceptance of American Israel Public Affairs Committee donations.
It’s bad enough that Booker had to deal with pro-Palestinian activists, but even worse was that they were protesting with the phrase, “Justice For Palestine.” This was incredibly hilarious when you consider that Booker’s chosen campaign slogan is “Justice For All.”
Note the irony in the following tweet:
Oof. This footage of people being escorted out of Cory Booker's campaign rally for proteating occupation in Palestine — amid his own campaign signs that read Justice for All — is supremely awkward
— mrmalcolmvee (@malcolmvenable) April 13, 2019
I agree… supremely awkward is a correct assessment. Equally awkward was that a group of Democrats was protesting another Democrat. In the following tweet you can see some of the protest captured on someone’s phone.
This is powerful.
— zellie (@zellieimani) April 13, 2019
So why would a bunch of Democrats protest at Cory Booker’s rally? Isn’t that like shooting yourself in the foot?
Apparently, Democrats don’t care too much about their feet; or at least the followers of Bernie Sanders don’t, who took credit for the protest.
The protesters who interrupted Cory Booker's campaign kickoff speech told me they support Bernie Sanders https://t.co/YEcyiJjzT3
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) April 13, 2019
Looks like it’s going to be a long road ahead for Cory Booker who has very little chance of gaining ground in his rallies for the rest of his campaign. Maybe he should ask President Trump for some pointers?
Are you surprised at the dismal showing at the rally? Leave your comments in the box provided below!