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"No minority should have their rights subject to the passions and sentiments of the majority."
February 7, 2012 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker Responds to Question about NJ Marriage Equality Referendum (proposed by Governor Chris Christie) (SLYT)

Previously
posted by beisny (55 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can't wait until Cory Booker runs for federal office.
posted by brand-gnu at 11:37 AM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Every time I hear this guy speak I think, "PLEASE steer clear of scandal, I need to vote for you for President someday."
posted by Nahum Tate at 11:37 AM on February 7, 2012 [17 favorites]


Oh, that was beautiful.
posted by gaspode at 11:41 AM on February 7, 2012


"PLEASE steer clear of scandal, I need to vote for you for President someday."

I bet there is an entire filing cabinet and dedicated intern at GOP HQ just called "Cory Booker And How To Get Rid Of Him."
posted by The Whelk at 11:41 AM on February 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


I went to school with Cory many years ago. He was smart, genuine, caring, and just an unbelievably good guy - so I was sure he had no chance to succeed as a politician. SO glad he has proved my cynical outlook wrong!!
posted by MLR0608 at 11:42 AM on February 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


That was pretty inspiring. First class citizenship for everyone in America, indeed.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:42 AM on February 7, 2012


Exactly right. He's exactly right.
posted by facetious at 11:45 AM on February 7, 2012


I saw Cory Brooker speak when I was working a commencement ceremony for my employer. I was staged to the VIP tent tending to the trustees and the honorable degree recipients.

He was really awesome and probably one of the least imposing famous figures I've encountered (not that I've encountered many). I still wouldn't want to go up against him in a debate.

So, in short. Yes, Cory Brooker is really freaking awesome.
posted by zizzle at 11:46 AM on February 7, 2012


Booker 2016. And I mean it. This guy really is (I hope) what we thought Obama might be. But he's lived in the Newark projects so I'm thinking he could take on the GOP, no problem.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 11:47 AM on February 7, 2012


"A millionaires' tax to create more millionaires" is an awesome framing.

I like the rest of his point in content, but I think it could have been framed better, a la the above.
posted by DU at 11:47 AM on February 7, 2012


Cory Booker is a big part of why I love teaching workshops in Newark, and enjoy spending time in Newark in general. The cultural community was already there before he became mayor, but he's thrown himself behind letting it blossom. I'd trade almost anything to have him as our mayor rather than the one we are stuck with here in JC.
posted by stagewhisper at 11:48 AM on February 7, 2012


Every time I hear this guy speak I think, "PLEASE steer clear of scandal, I need to vote for you for President someday."


No!
The Peter Principle is at its finest at the Presidency.
He's a good at holding public office. Just let him hold a public office that somebody can actually do good in!
posted by entropone at 11:48 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think I've ever had a crush on politician before, but Cory Booker keeps popping up speaking intelligently about things that I care about, and I just can't help myself. So, yeah, what Nahum Tate said.
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:48 AM on February 7, 2012


(not only that, even one of my rabid right-wingy tea-partyish, randian, nypost/fox quoting acquaintances here in JC loves the guy)
posted by stagewhisper at 11:51 AM on February 7, 2012


The best politician in America. Period.
posted by Apropos of Something at 11:51 AM on February 7, 2012


Stanford '91. Represent.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:51 AM on February 7, 2012


And I totally keep spelling his name wrong for no good reason.
posted by zizzle at 11:52 AM on February 7, 2012


Yeah I wandered over to Red State to see what potential attacks are festering and conspiracy theories fermenting and ....nothing. Even they seem to like him.
posted by The Whelk at 11:54 AM on February 7, 2012


As a Westerner I've never heard of him. Thanks for the introduction.
posted by incandissonance at 11:59 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


His campaign slogan can be: Booker, Dano!
posted by spicynuts at 12:12 PM on February 7, 2012


.....aaaand he just retweeted my "go Cory Booker" tweet to 1 million followers *faints*
posted by stagewhisper at 12:13 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


He is always majestic. His oratory and passion in Street Fight moved me to tears and I must say lacked the messianic distance President Obama sometimes projects. This idea of truly illiberal democracy, where 'wedge' social issues are in effect tossed to the mob, is a tool of fascists, racists and ideologues of all sorts abusing democracy to forward their agenda. Look at California. And referenda are usually not about the question at hand, really (as it is a chance to vent about the State, who is putting the question, whatever), and of course can be manipulated by how questions are phrased. This short film by Adam Curtis at his best, rather than quasi-Luddite Maoist worst, cites Roy Jenkins, the Home Secretary in the 1960s in the UK who ended laws against homosexuality, abortion, divorce and scrapped the death penalty. Lord Jenkins did not care about the prejudices of the press and public. He wanted to transform society and as the best kind of elitist, did what he thought was best - if people cared that much they could elect someone else. He never was interested in mob prejudices. If you put the Bill of Rights to a referendum, it would never pass today. Sometimes we need elites to build a better world.
posted by The Salaryman at 12:15 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks for this post, beisny. I'm embarrassed to admit that I had not even heard of Cory Booker before now, but I'm glad I have.

Also, the account of Booker's "feud" with Conan O'Brien (in the Wikipedia entry linked above) is pretty hilarious.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 12:17 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


The other day someone forwarded me a video of him speaking at Newark's Menorah Lighting Ceremony. Not only is it a great speech, but he even does great with the Hebrew accent, I thought. The man is amazing.
posted by inigo2 at 12:22 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was fantastic.

Did I miss it, or did he not actually use the word 'gay' during that video? I'm pretty sure he didn't, and I wonder if it was deliberate, for whatever reason.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:08 PM on February 7, 2012


WHY THE HELL WASN'T THERE ANY APPLAUSE!?
posted by odinsdream at 1:10 PM on February 7, 2012


Wow, that was cool.
posted by Aizkolari at 1:12 PM on February 7, 2012


Some more substance for those who want more than charisma.
posted by IndigoJones at 1:15 PM on February 7, 2012


Cory Booker is an inspiration, and Street Fight is well worth watching, as is Brick City.
posted by ambrosia at 1:17 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK, that was the best thing I've seen in years. But I've done a bunch of googling now and I'm confused -- can someone just fast-forward and let me know how Cory Booker is going to shatter my hopes and dreams? Please tell me it's not pictures of his penis. That is so played.
posted by The Bellman at 1:18 PM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Thank you, IndigoJones, for that link. I figure it's not too early to start campaigning for him.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 1:20 PM on February 7, 2012


What a smart, thoughtful, and passionate response. For the first time in my life, I am jealous of Newark.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:21 PM on February 7, 2012


[applause]
posted by willpie at 1:58 PM on February 7, 2012


El Sabor Asiatico: " Also, the account of Booker's "feud" with Conan O'Brien (in the Wikipedia entry linked above) is pretty hilarious."

This "feud" (that I was unaware of until just now) are examples of two things I guess I already knew and that large portions of the Internet (or at least my Internet neighborhood) seems to agree:

1) Cory Booker knows how to deal with political situations in the real world with a tremendous amount of grace. (Too many politicians would turn this into a Real Thing rather than fight a joke with a joke and turned the whole thing into overall win for the city and as his public persona.)

2) Conan O'Brien was tremendously screwed by NBC over The Tonight Show.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:02 PM on February 7, 2012


I have admired Cory Booker from afar since first watching Street Fight. Such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing this video - I've passed it along to many of my friends.
posted by sc114 at 2:29 PM on February 7, 2012


Ladies and gentlemen, the next President of the United States.
posted by Mick at 2:36 PM on February 7, 2012


Ladies and gentlemen, the next President of the United States.

"Next"? I think you've got the wrong New Jersey politician by about 200 pounds, but give Booker a few more years and we can at least hope.
posted by The Bellman at 2:48 PM on February 7, 2012


From the Wikipedia Entry on Cory Booker:
"Booker made news when on December 31, 2010, a constituent used Twitter to ask the mayor to send someone to her father's house to shovel his driveway because her father, who was 65 years old, was going to attempt to do it himself. Booker responded by tweeting; "I will do it myself; where does he live?" Other people volunteered, including one person who offered his help on Twitter and 20 minutes later the mayor and some volunteers showed up and shoveled the man's driveway."

We could definitely use more politicians who think like this. First I am hearing of this guy, thanks for posting.
posted by KillaSeal at 2:52 PM on February 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


If I was an Evil Repubician I'd probibly do some whisper not-saying-it-out-loud about his personal life, just vague enough to deny you're actually doing it.

Then again the current GOP is not subtle in the slightest.
posted by The Whelk at 3:03 PM on February 7, 2012


Well damn. That was just about perfect.

My understanding about CHristie's call for a referendum on Marriage Equality is strictly because he knows it's coming and he doesn't want to have to sign it or veto it (or veto and get overridden.) Does anyone know more? If it goes to referendum, is it likely to pass? (Though I agree with Booker completely - this is absolutely not the sort of thing which should go to referendum.)

Additionally, does anyone know more than I do about when Maryland is revisiting this? I only know that it was one of my law school classmates (Sam Arora) who was one of the cheif assholes instrumental in tanking it last time around.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:15 PM on February 7, 2012


Booker rules. Sure, I want him to run for federal office, but Newark needs him. Let him do his work there first.
posted by defenestration at 3:55 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


To answer those who wonder why there was no applause; I assume this venue was a press conference, with the audience being reporters. If that is the case it would (probably) have been inappropriate for the reporters present to clearly express their political viewpoints on this via applause (this would be true regardless of the topic or his position on it).

Thanks for this link; I hadn't been aware of Booker either, and he certainly does rock. (and also, let him do more good locally before being sucked into the quagmire of DC).
posted by el io at 5:03 PM on February 7, 2012


Navelgazer, there are still a lot of assholes here in Maryland who would like to kill it again, but I think it's got a fighting chance of passing this time. I know a lot of people who have been signing petitions and calling the State House to voice their support for marriage equality.
posted by wintermind at 5:05 PM on February 7, 2012


Yeah, my graduate school stint is coming to an end and I've been thinking about what job I would get. I was thinking "I would never work for a politician, or for a city bureaucracy...

well,

except for Cory Booker in Newark."
posted by fuq at 5:05 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did I miss it, or did he not actually use the word 'gay' during that video?

I noticed the same thing and it left a funny taste in my mouth. The overall tone of the speech was great, but why dance around saying "gay and lesbian"?

He referenced African American and women's struggles for equality, but could only speak in generalities for the struggles of gays and lesbians for marriage equality.
posted by hambone at 6:37 PM on February 7, 2012


Give him a bit of the benefit of the doubt - it was unplanned.
posted by entropone at 7:11 PM on February 7, 2012


Oh god, Cory Booker - a friend of mine who worked on his campaign recommended Street Fight to me, and I fell madly in love. I was following him on Twitter during his heroic Snowpocalypse adventures, but (and I am totally ashamed to admit this) I unfollowed him eventually because the relentless earnestness/wholesomeness was starting to get a bit overwhelming.
posted by naoko at 7:22 PM on February 7, 2012


He referenced African American and women's struggles for equality, but could only speak in generalities for the struggles of gays and lesbians for marriage equality.

Perhaps because he's a skilled orator and knows about code-switching and losing your audience?
posted by odinsdream at 8:05 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've done a bunch of googling now and I'm confused -- can someone just fast-forward and let me know how Cory Booker is going to shatter my hopes and dreams?
When he was on The Last Word on MSNBC (Feb 22, 2011), he royally peeved me when Lawrence O'Donnell said the massive tax cut for corporations (a big one had just passed in NJ) had caused his states current budget shortfall and Booker replied that that was a "sort of [a] simplistic [view] of this." But he specifically states that pension and health benefits for public employees, already too low, were a budget buster.

In that same interview, he said: "We're driving businesses out of our nation right now, putting them overseas. We're driving businesses out of New Jersey, because of our high tax rates."

In other words, trickle down economics, inaccurate right-wing talking points, guised as populism and from a "Democrat."
posted by Critical_Beatdown at 8:07 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The overall tone of the speech was great, but why dance around saying "gay and lesbian"?

Just a guess: he has reason to believe (could be polling, could be advice, could just be instinct) that folks he's trying to move - or stop from moving - shut down when they hear direct references to LGBTQ issues, but perk up around terms like minorities. So he focuses on the latter. The optimist in me would say he's attempting to help people slowly expand their understanding of the term "minorities." The realist would say he's just trying to help those people not vote against him while sending other people an "I get it, and you should totally keep voting for me" signal. It's a dog whistle.

Either way, well played. Yes, it's distasteful. Maybe too cautious - I don't know the scene. But it's also politics. And it suggests he and his staff are thinking more than one move ahead.

Give him a bit of the benefit of the doubt - it was unplanned.

The remarks themselves may have been, but I'd put money down on his having already done a bit of strategizing around the issue. That was some tight messaging.

Glad to have learned about this guy. Thanks for the post, beisny.
posted by Mike Smith at 8:08 PM on February 7, 2012


Of course, I guess he could also just be kinda homophobic, but smart enough to know he needs to play ball. No idea.

And his snow shovel stunt mentioned upthread is the kind of opportunistic populism I'd expect from a certain right-wing mayor eight hours northwest instead. A mayor's job isn't to run errands for you, a mayor's job is to make sure public infrastructure is there. An elected official shovelling snow doesn't say to me, "see, the system works," it says, "gee, the system must be fucked." Because he's the mayor, not a snowplow.

In any case, interesting guy.
posted by Mike Smith at 8:21 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Homophobic? No. He's already been on record numerous times as stating his support for gay marriage.

The mayor doesn't run errands for people while neglecting to take care of infrastructure- quite the contrary. He's extremely proactive and whenever someone contacts him via twitter about infrastructure problems he not only makes calls to get it taken care of, shows up himself, or explains why it can't be taken care of right away, he also takes personal responsibility for problems. I've yet to see him pass the buck, but I have seen him apologize.

I'm a lot further left than the average democrat but I live in an abutting city to Newark and I spend a lot of time there. I'm fairly cynical, particularly when it comes to political figures, but there's nothing I've seen from Corey Booker that I haven't been impressed with, other than his relentless cheerfulness that turned naoko mentions above. He's more centrist than I am (and more religious certainly- I've been an atheist since I was 12) but I've developed incredible respect for him over years of observing how he interacts with the community and how he puts his values into practice.
posted by stagewhisper at 8:51 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe he didn't use the word gay because anyone can get a same-sex marriage.
posted by threeants at 10:35 PM on February 7, 2012


Very eloquent.
posted by caddis at 3:48 AM on February 8, 2012


- it was unplanned.

I don't think his speech was completely unplanned. He appears to be reading the quote he used from Jackie Robinson. I doubt he had that just lying around unless he knew he would be giving a speech along these lines.

I get that he was probably code-switching. However, I don't like it when the Republicans do it, and I'm not going to be happy when Democrats do it, either.
posted by hambone at 6:56 PM on February 8, 2012


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