ELECTIONS

In Charlotte, Booker and Other NJ Dems Address Topic of Current and Future Governor

Yesterday, Newark Mayor Cory Booker delivered a rousing speech.

While he may have ended the day on a triumphant note, it started out badly when he twisted his ankle getting out of his SUV before a speech to the Florida delegation. The energetic Newark mayor muscled through his appearance there and then, later, before an adoring hall of Democrats, presented the party’s platform with a flourish: “This is our American mission. These are the dreams of our fathers and mothers. This is the demand from the next generation.”

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Leslie Dominguez Rodriguez, Vice Chair of the Middlesex County Democratic Party, called the mayor’s performance “awesome” and “right on the button.”

But Booker had to answer for the platform’s omission of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, and he didn’t entirely hit that answer out of the park. He said the Democrats were in full support of Israel. “The omission should not in any way take away from that affirmation,” he said without providing an answer.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-8) strongly proclaimed Obama’s pro-Israel stance, saying “no one has done more to help Israel than President Obama.”

In terms of New Jersey star power, Booker is as close to a Chris Christie as this convention has. He spoke before a number of delegations before handing out “swag bags” and even sponsored the leading New Jersey newspaper. His hyperactivity has fueled speculation that he’s preparing to mount a run for governor, along with close to half a dozen other Democrats at the DNC. He even went as far as to take a shot at Gov. Chris Christie, lumping him in with the right wing of the Republican party.

According to Booker, some of the governor’s actions “have pushed us back on issues like access to Planned Parenthood, on issues like gay marriage.”

Other Democrats, including State Party Chairman Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6), Senate President Steve Sweeney, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage and Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18), have all been mentioned. But all of them are playing it close to the vest this week.

“Well, I’m not ready to declare but I very much am thinking about it,” said Buono.

Sweeney was even more ambiguous, saying “Whatever’s gonna happen in ’13 is gonna happen. We have several people who are qualified candidates.”

Laughing off the question, Rep. Pallone said “there’s a lot of speculation about who’s gonna run for governor, who’ s gonna run for higher office, but I’m not gonna get into that now.”

David Cruz files this report from Charlotte.