Monday, August 05, 2013

Support for Cory Booker for Senator

It’s great to see the NY Times endorse Cory Booker this past weekend. He is going to be a huge and powerful champion of ed reform in the Senate!

But anyone who remembers Newark before Mr. Booker became mayor in 2006 knows what a difference he has made to that benighted city. He has lived in some of the roughest neighborhoods as he tried to improve the quality of life. He rode on night patrol with police as he was trying to bring down crime. He is a deeply unconventional politician, once rushing into a burning house before the fire department arrived — saving a woman and traumatizing his security detail.

As mayor, he has lured big money to Newark’s schools — notably a matching grant of $100 million from Mark Zuckerberg, a co-founder of Facebook. And he has worked well with Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, on areas of agreement in crime, development and education. That ability to work with the political opposition could be an asset for Mr. Booker if the ice age of a divided Congress ever ends.

Some of Mr. Booker’s opponents are trying to denigrate those assets — his fame, his ability to work with Republicans, his coziness with the moneyed class. It will be his challenge to manage the difficult-but-mundane work needed to achieve progress in the Senate. But Mr. Booker can summon those abilities, and make a difference — not only for New Jersey, but for many Americans.

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