Politics Cory Booker Lays Groundwork for 2020 Run at Jeff Sessions Hearings

21:50  11 january  2017
21:50  11 january  2017 Source:   Time

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Cory Booker may have become the first sitting senator to testify against a colleague for a Cabinet post, a hint at his 2020 aspirations. There may as well have been a banner hanging in the grand marble meeting room that housed Jeff Sessions ’ hearings for attorney general: Booker 2020 .

But Booker , swarmed by far more cameras than any other witness of the day when he entered the room, used the afternoon to take a splashy stand and lay groundwork for a potential 2020 presidential run .

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There may as well have been a banner hanging in the grand marble meeting room that housed Jeff Sessions’ hearings for attorney general: Booker 2020.

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Cory Booker Lays Groundwork for 2020 Run at Jeff Sessions Hearings + READ ARTICLE There may as well have been a banner hanging

Cory Booker Lays Groundwork for 2020 Run at Jeff Sessions HearingsTIME Sessions decries ‘caricature’ of him at AG hearing , vows recusal on Clinton mattersFox News.

After 10.5 hours of questioning on Tuesday, Wednesday’s panel of witnesses felt less urgent alongside Donald Trump’s press conference and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s hearings beginning a building away. But Booker, swarmed by far more cameras than any other witness of the day when he entered the room, used the afternoon to take a splashy stand and lay groundwork for a potential 2020 presidential run.

“In a choice between standing with Senate norms and standing up for what my conscience tells me is best for our country, I will always choose conscience and country,” the junior Democratic senator from New Jersey said, acknowledging his unprecedented move. He’s believed to be the first sitting senator to testify against a colleague for a Cabinet post.

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  In Historic Move, Sen. Booker to Testify Against Sessions Booker's office said the Senate historian was unable to find any previous instance of a sitting senator's testifying against a fellow sitting senator.Booker's office said Monday that the Senate historian had been unable to find any previous instance of a sitting senator's testifying against a fellow sitting senator nominated for a Cabinet position.

Cory Booker Lays Groundwork for 2020 Run at Jeff Sessions Hearings + READ ARTICLE There may as well have been a banner hanging Kirsten Gillibrand support single-payer health are? Her senior adviser says yes Sen. Cory Booker hosted

TOP. 5417534 Senator Cory Booker heaped compliments on Elaine Chao during her Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday. NEWER POSTCory Booker Lays Groundwork For 2020 Run At Jeff Sessions Hearings .

With members of the Congressional Black Caucus sitting behind him, Booker made an impassioned plea for the committee to oppose Sessions, citing the Alabama Senator’s record on voting rights, LGBTQ equality, immigration and criminal justice reform.

“The arc of the moral universe does not just naturally curve towards justice. We must bend it,” Booker said, alluding to a favorite line of President Obama’s and sounding more like he was delivering a rousing campaign speech than giving sworn testimony in a hearing.

Booker’s appearance calls to mind similar headline-grabbing actions by young presidential hopefuls of the past: then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama filibustering Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court in 2006, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz leading the government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act in 2013, or Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s lengthy filibuster of the Patriot Act in 2015.

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Cory Booker started his 2020 presidential campaign by stabbing Jeff Sessions in the back and front on nationwide TV. Instead, he chose to grandstand before the committee and national television. It is clear that Booker wants to run in 2020 , and this was his opening campaign speech.

January 11, 2017 Cory Booker On Why He’s Testifying Against Jeff Sessions The Washington Post - Later Wednesday, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) will become the first sitting senator to testify against a fellow senator’s nomination for a […]

As in those cases, Booker’s testimony against Sessions will endear him to his base. Liberal and civil rights groups oppose Sessions’ nomination; the panel of witnesses Wednesday included NAACP head Cornell William Brooks, ACLU legal director David Cole and former DREAMer Oscar Vazquez testifying against Sessions. And Booker is likely betting that taking a strong stance against the Trump administration early will pay off at the end of the controversial president-elect’s first term.

Cory Booker during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his confirmation hearing to be Attorney General in the Trump administration, on Jan. 10, 2017. © Bill Clark—AP Cory Booker during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his confirmation hearing to be Attorney General in the Trump administration, on Jan. 10, 2017.

“The Democratic Party is suffering from a leadership vacuum right now and Cory Booker’s efforts place him at the top of the list of national leaders defining themselves and what our party narrative should be,” said Brad Bauman, the former executive director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a Democratic consultant. “By taking this extraordinary measure, he is showing that he could have the chops to lead the party, be our standard bearer in 2020 and, at a minimum, it helps define the resistance to Trump’s agenda at this critical time.”

Booker’s move, and the possible motivation behind it, has not gone unnoticed by his Republican colleagues. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton released a statement ahead of Booker’s testimony calling it a “disgraceful breach of custom” and saying, “I’m very disappointed that Senator Booker has chosen to start his 2020 presidential campaign by testifying against Senator Sessions. … This hearing simply offers a platform for his presidential aspirations.”

Booker’s time before the Judiciary Committee likely won’t make a difference to Sessions, who has the Republican majority to sail through the confirmation vote. But it may well resurface in campaign ads four years from now.

With reporting from Philip Elliott

Standing behind Trump on Friday? The future of the Democratic Party .
One by one, each of these potential candidates put their heads down Friday and vowed to get to work challenging Trump’s administration. As she headed to Senate votes for confirming some Trump Cabinet members, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) carried a laptop in hand and ducked into an elevator with a reporter. How had she spent the first hours of Trump’s reign? “Working,” she said. “I went back to my office and sat and worked.”Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) began his day by pouring out his political soul in a 511-word Facebook post, which by 6 p.m. had been shared nearly 4,000 times.

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