The Atlantic

‘We Can’t Make Our Elections About Being Against Trump’

Cory Booker on the 2020 presidential race, Star Trek, and why it’s Gen X’s turn to save the day
Source: Stephen Voss

As Democrats position themselves for the 2020 presidential election, one name is mentioned again and again: Cory Booker. Before becoming New Jersey’s first black U.S. senator, in 2013, Booker was the mayor of Newark for a controversial six years. As mayor, he earned national attention for his crusading style and daring stunts—at one point he saved a woman from a burning building—but was criticized by some constituents for his neoliberal approach to policy, particularly his embrace of charter schools. In 2016, he was a contender to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate. Since then, he has taken a series of very public stands against Donald Trump’s administration, including his unprecedented testimony against Trump’s nominee for attorney general, his colleague Jeff Sessions. He is a vegan and an ardent Trekkie.


This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

Julia Ioffe: First question: Are you running?

Cory Booker: Every morning I’m trying to get as much exercise as possible. I’m more biking.

JI: Spinning?

My chief of staff has the Peloton bike, but you have to have special shoes to do it. I have a bike that has

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic3 min readPolitics
Republicans Don't Understand Democrats—And Democrats Don't Understand Republicans
A new study shows Americans have little understanding of their political adversaries—and education doesn’t help.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Is There Still a Deal to Be Done With Iran?
The United States stepped right up to the brink of striking Iran over a downed American drone—and then abruptly stepped back. Yet the conditions that have stoked weeks of tensions remain fully in place, as does the question of what exactly President
The Atlantic7 min readPolitics
The Old Senate Is Hardwired Into Joe Biden
The body he was elected to in 1972 required even the bitterest rivals to maintain a veneer of civility. But the country has long moved on from that brand of politics.