Let’s dispense with the obvious — while it’s far too early for political prognostication surrounding the 2020 presidential campaign, it doesn’t take too much effort to see that the Democrats have very little in the way of worthy candidates for nomination.
For this, they can thank Barack Obama and his eight years of hollowing out that party by relying on vicious identity politics and Hard Left cultural aggression to pile up near-unanimous votes in urban areas dominated by racial and ethnic minorities and “lifestyle liberals” at the expense of “normal” Americans in suburbs and small towns. Consequently, state legislatures are becoming more and more uniformly Republican and governor’s mansions are already there. The only path to national relevance for Democrat politicians is becoming the mayor’s office in larger cities Dems dominate.
Which is where Cory Booker, who appears to be the preener-in-chief among the rag-tag roster of 2020 Democrat presidential hopefuls, came from.
What Booker proves is it’s not important whether a Democrat is actually successful as a mayor on his or her ascent up the political totem pole — Booker, as mayor of Newark, couldn’t be considered a success by any rational measure. He rode some of the economic effects of an economic boom in New York City to an uneven construction boom in the city’s downtown and he managed to buy a couple of corporate headquarters away from other New Jersey cities with taxpayer dollars redistributed from what was left of Newark’s middle class. But in Booker’s time as mayor Newark went from 67 murders in 2008, a decline from 105 in 2006, to 112 killings in 2013, the year after he left office. Booker never presided over an unemployment rate in the single digits. And he laid off 163 policemen amid budget deficits his mismanagement produced.