Today: Liberal Senator Starts His Bid for 2020

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Senator Corey Booker’s unprecedented move to testify against a fellow senator on Wednesday has been seen by Republicans as a maneuver designed to boost his national profile for the “sake of his own presidential ambitions.”

Senator Corey Booker, (D-N.J.), 47, has been viewed by fellow Democrats as one of several possible senate candidates who may consider challenging President-elect Donald Trump in 2020.

The other possible senate contenders are Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.), Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.), Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

Senator Booker’s strategy is going to become a popular one over the next four years and will, undoubtedly, be used by other senators with similar presidential ambitions who know that going up against the Trump administration will create a platform that commands national attention.

The Senate testimony against Sessions will give Booker plenty of national media attention, along with a chance to champion civil rights, which Democratic groups feel is a major concern when it comes to Jeff Sessions being attorney general.

Ex-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) senior adviser and Democratic strategist Tad Devine said about the Booker testimony, “It takes a lot of guts for a United States senator to go in to offer testimony in opposition to one of his colleagues. … I can’t remember this ever happening.”

Republicans aren’t of the same mindset and feel Booker is breaking with senate traditions of “comity” for the sake of his own his presidential ambitions.

Senator Tom Cotton ( R-Ark.) said on Facebook, “I’m very disappointed that Sen. Booker has chosen to start his 2020 presidential campaign by testifying against Sen. Sessions.”

Cotton described Booker’s testimony as “a disgraceful breach of custom” and questioned his motives by noting that last year the New Jersey legislator said he was “honored to partner with Sessions on a resolution honoring civil rights activists.”

According to The Hill, Senator Booker’s spokesman said Booker made this statement earlier this week:
“I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague. … Senator Sessions’ decades-long record is concerning in a number of ways, from his opposition to bipartisan criminal justice reform to his views on bipartisan drug policy reform, from his efforts earlier in his career to deny citizens voting rights to his criticism of the Voting Rights Act, from his failure to defend the civil rights of women, minorities, and LGBT Americans to his opposition to common-sense, bipartisan immigration reform.”

Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic lobbyist and strategist, said this about Booker, “He is someone with a demonstrated leadership in civil rights and he feels very strongly about Sen. Sessions’ civil rights record. We’re in a unique moment here where we have a new president who’s trying to put a bunch of people into office who are extreme.”

As far as Elmendorf is concerned about senators using the Trump administration as a springboard for raising their profile, he said, “Donald Trump is going to give people a great opportunity to build that profile. If you’re a Democrat, you have a lot of opportunities to show you can stand up to this guy, which people in the party want to see.”

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