Cory Booker Galvanizes Convention With Platform Speech

The Newark, NJ, mayor, considered a rising Democratic star, had the convention attendees chanting his name.

Posted: 09/04/2012 06:55 PM EDT
Cory Booker

Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, electrified the audience at the Democratic National Convention in his delivery of a speech that served as a defense of President Obama’s leadership. Vigorous chants of “Cory, Cory, Cory” filled the arena at the end of his speech. 

Indeed, Booker’s job was to highlight the components of the Democratic Party’s platform, which is typically a mundane part of a convention’s agenda. Instead, Booker used it as opportunity to present a speech that saluted the president’s work to protect the middle class, to reduce taxes and invest in education.

Booker spoke pointedly on the platform’s call for the richest Americans to pay a higher percentage of taxes and taking a jab at the Republican characterization of it.

“When your country is in a costly war, and our nation is facing a debt crisis at home, being asked to pay your fair share isn’t class war,” he said. “It’s patriotism.”

He added that the platform placed education as its major investment priority.

“Your platform and our president stated clearly that our nation cannot continue to be the number-one economy if we’re not committed to being the world’s number-one educator,” he said.

Booker has been considered a rising star in the Democratic Party since he was first elected Newark’s mayor in 2006. He is reportedly considering a candidacy for governor of New Jersey, challenging Republican incumbent Chris Christie.

Booker’s role in the convention signals a thawing of relationships between the mayor and the White House. Earlier in the year, Booker rankled some Democratic leaders when he appeared on Meet the Press and said that he was “very uncomfortable” with an ad campaign that President Obama’s re-election team launched that aggressively attacked the private equity firm Republican rival Mitt Romney once led.

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(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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