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Photo: Cory Booker's Senate bio

Senator Cory Booker announced today he's running for president, and isn't that just a heck of a surprise to absolutely nobody who's been paying attention since he became mayor of Newark, New Jersey, in 2006. Or for that matter since the documentary Street Fight covered his unsuccessful 2002 run for mayor and was nominated for an Oscar, and which is a very, very good movie. Since Kamala Harris announced her candidacy on Martin Luther King Day, Booker picked the first day of Black History Month to announce his own run, and as everyone seems to have noticed, that makes 2020 the first presidential election with two serious African-American candidates in the running, and isn't it damn well about time! Or, as Dead Breitbart will inevitably insist, two candidates who think they should be president just because they're black.


Booker jumped into the 2020 race with a splashy inspiring video that is simply TOO WIDESCREEN for most TVs, that's how big it is:

It's a pretty good announcement video, what with aspirational tone and the upbeat marching-band drumming (if you are reminded of MLK's "drum major for justice" sermon, that is probably not unintentional).

The history of our nation is defined by collective action; by interwoven destinies of slaves and abolitionists; of those born here and those who chose America as home; of those who took up arms to defend our country, and those who linked arms to challenge and change it.

Booker notes that when he was a kid, his parents tried to move to a good neighborhood, but they were thwarted by racist real estate codes. And then, hooray for activists, and danged if he didn't go into politics to pay it forward:

A group of white lawyers, who had watched the courage of civil rights activists, were inspired to help black families in their own community, including mine. And they changed the course of my entire life. Because in America, courage is contagious.

The ad also includes a couple of not terribly subtle jabs at Donald Trump, because how can you not?

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.

We are very good with that!

And of course, it's no surprise at all that Booker has finally declared (no "exploratory committee" stuff for him, no sirree), since he's been rumored to have been running for pretty much ever; during the midterms, he traveled to 24 states (that would be 39 separate trips) to stump for other Democratic candidates, reminding crowds that this is "a moral moment for America," and we all know exactly who THAT was aimed at: Hillary and her emails.

Booker also has a substantial place in the Wonkette archives going back at least to that time in 2012 (when he was still just a mayor) when he broke into a building and abducted a woman inside, with the excuse that the building was "on fire" and the woman needed "rescuing" from the "fire," if you can believe that. During his campaign for the Senate, the idiots at Tucker Carlson's Internet Timewaster ran a supposed exposé revealing that Booker couldn't possibly live in that Newark home in the low-income neighborhood (the one in the video) because some "neighbors" who really didn't want to be called "anti-Booker activists" said so, and also a Daily Caller reporter peeked in Booker's window and he wasn't even there. A related story also included this shocking headline: "Cory Booker breaks promise to help woman with raccoon infestation," so everyone stopped liking Cory Booker and he never got to the Senate ever.

Also in 2013, a campaign aide for Republican candidate Steve Lonegan got MIGHTY SUSPICIOUS at the fact that Booker tweeted amusing things in public conversations with Lynsie Lee, a very funny stripper lady in Oregon. She was at the time Tumblr-famous for hilarious put-downs of rude jerks like this:

Anonymous: What is your fantasy? Also, can I give you it.

Lee: My fantasy is to pay off my student loans and buy a house. Yes you can do that for me.

The aide, a dude named Rick Shaftan, was shitcanned after suggesting in an interview that maybe Booker must have something wrong with his manliness, because after all, a true heterosexual masculine man bantering with a lady who performs in adult clubs would obviously say things like "Hey, you got really hot breasts man, I'd love to suck on them." WE ARE NOT MAKING THAT UP. Shaftan continued,

It was like kind of like, I don't know, it was like what a gay guy would say to a stripper. It's the way he was talking to her. It's just like like there was no sexual interest at all. I don't know. To me, if I was single and you know like some stripper was tweeting me, I might take advantage of the perks of the office, you know?

So yeah, Cory Booker didn't harass a stripper, ergo Gay. Shaftan was shitcanned, but kept working in politics, somehow; during the 2018 campaign, he turned up in the news again as an aide to Virginia US Senate candidate Corey Stewart (R-Confederate Minnesota). Would you believe it, Shaftan got media criticism for openly racist comments and he didn't get fired, because free speech and also open racism is a selling point now. He's still on Twitter and proclaiming blackface is "fun."

Oh, yes, we were talking about Cory Booker! We like him! He's into Class Warfare, likes guaranteed jobs, and enjoys long walks all over Jeff Sessions's racist face! Already-declared 2020 candidate Kirsten Gillibrand welcomed Booker to the race with this nice (if kinda dopey and too-long) video in which she and Booker gab about working together and being pals.

This is going to be a fun election, at least until we all hate each other! WE LIKE EVERYONE RUNNING. (Okay, not Tulsi Gabbard.)

[HuffPo / WaPo / NYT / Booker 2020 website]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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