Sen. Cory Booker enters a presidential race headlined by front-running colleagues capable of overshadowing him, but the New Jersey Democrat has one of the most unique backgrounds of anyone in the field.
He launched a generational battle long before Pete Buttigieg, a fellow Rhodes Scholar, came around. He took on the establishment both in Newark’s City Hall and by exploring a run for the Senate before Frank Lautenberg could announce his retirement.
Booker, who turns 50 in April, has also infuriated some liberals with his ties to the New York-area financial sector, and his significant expansion of charter schools in his city has invited criticism from fellow Democrats.
He skyrocketed to stardom in a documentary about his mayoral race and moving into a housing project, through stories of comic-book-style heroics, and as perhaps the first elected official to utilize Twitter to interact constructively with constituents.
He’s been a top-requested surrogate since entering the Senate in 2013 and is a draw regardless of the state. We’ll see if that translates to his own national campaign.
-- Kyle Trygstad