Cory Booker’s Exit From 2020 Race Ends a Once-Promising Political Chapter

The New Jersey senator, who built his campaign around a message of unity, was unable to catch on with substantial numbers of voters and ended his quest before voting began.

Comments: 228

  1. Senator Booker ran a strong campaign and would’ve made an excellent President - far better than the current abomination. Thank you for advancing the ball on many issues, Senator, and keep fighting the good fight.

  2. @Andrew Strong seems a little overstated. He’s at 2% among registered Democrats.

  3. @TR88 As we know, there’s not always a strong correlation between the quality of a candidate and their ability to win support.

  4. @Andrew Now, he can go back to taking the most money in the Senate from Bigpharma. Also, voting down the ability to buy cheaper drugs from Canada, (which he did). He should try to get the nomination on the Republican side.

  5. Unfortunate news. He had a chance to repeat Obama’s success.

  6. What success was that? the reason we are stuck with Trump now is because of the damage Obama did. Obama's tenure is what placed this loose cannon Trump in office. We dont need a repeat.

  7. "the damage Obama did" Not even you believe that.

  8. @Cromwell The only people to blame for trump being in office are the people who voted for him. Please don't try to put the fault of white racists in the laps of black politicians. Maybe whites should just stop being racist? How about that?

  9. We haven’t hear the last from him re president.

  10. @Bjh “He pledged to offer sweeping clemency to thousands of nonviolent drug offenders ....” The convict officially imprisoned for a nonviolent crime has, in fact, most often pled down from a violent reality - and a violent past. Ordinary men with a marijuana cigarette do not go to jail. The guys in jail have hurt people and have stolen hard-earned property. Real criminals are a real problem and if you do not like mass incarceration you had best come up with a real alternative. That these men with nonviolent convictions actually live a violent, criminal lifestyle does not concern him, that his policies will neither confine nor deter them does not concern him, that they will prey on your loved ones does not concern him.

  11. I think Booker is simply too nice. Maybe his time will come later.

  12. Keep fighting Senator Booker! The Democratic Party still needs your voice. Best wishes, An American

  13. @Diane The Democratic Party needs to do more than just pay lip service to Booker. It needs to apply the concept of Affirmative Action in selecting its candidate. Enlightened Dem leadership must see that rank & file Dems are perpetrating against minorities. Change the rules for minority candidates to keep them all in the race to the very end and let the voters decide. SEE: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/affirmative-action/

  14. Perhaps VP? Unless of course you think a woman is mandatory if she is not in the top spot. He is a humanist and a healer in every sense of the word.

  15. I also think he’d make an excellent VP - preferably for Amy Klobuchar. That would be my dream ticket.

  16. @AGoldstein Fingers crossed for Stacey Abrams!

  17. “All You Need Is Love”. To me, that sort of summed up Cory Booker’s messaging. It was never remotely enough, and, like-able though he is, it seems most Democratic voters agree.

  18. sad to learn - I think he was ahead of his time so maybe 2024 or 8. Hopefully Senator Booker will remain in the Senate as he is a force on his committees.

  19. Cory Booker is an extraordinary public servant and would have made a great president. That said, I think it's a mistake to promote a score card based on diversity. A candidate should not be supported or elected based on their genetic background.

  20. @Patriot Save for Obama all of the US Presidents have been white men with several fathers and sons and cousins being president. Identity politics isn't new. The game changer is that appeal to identity is no longer exclusively white and male. Why not outrage against so many capable people being excluded from serious presidential consideration because of their race or gender? Booker is a good man and I am glad that he will be an important voice and leader in the Senate.

  21. @Patriot He ran on principled patriotic work for justice for all Americans.

  22. @Patriot I know what you are trying to say with “genetic background”, but the term really has no meaning. All of us share the same genetic “background”. We share the majority of our DNA with every living thing on the earth and about 99 percent with all other humans--the other one percent simply provides us each with our own identity and variation. There is simply no such thing as “race” in science. The sooner we all come to terms with that, the better.

  23. Cory Booker is still presidential material; and he'll be back.

  24. @steve Yup, but that's politics

  25. @steve "gravitas" seems to be inversely proportional to political exposure; and has little to do with political potency.

  26. Let this be the defining moment for any “democrat” who supports billionaires defining how our public schools are run. No more charter schools, they promote inequality. The Devos “Democrats for Education Reform” must get with the program to support equitable public schools for all without privatizing charter gimmicks. Booker even wrote a pro charter opinion piece for the Times last year. Let his failed candidacy be a lesson.

  27. @Aras Paul Charter schools done the right way is a viable strategy. If they worked in NJ for Booker, then they can work elsewhere. The problem is the same for charter schools as for other kind of schools: when the wrong people run them, they're disasters. That goes for pretty much anything else, too. America's educational system isn't rated in the 20s or 30s in the world because of charter schools.

  28. @Aras Paul I sincerely doubt it was Booker's stance on charter schools that caused his campaign's downfall. But we all have our pet issues.

  29. Yes, this! Thanks for writing in.

  30. I'm very sorry to hear it. Truthfully, I'm sorry that all of the Democratic candidates who have dropped out have done so - apparently there's no way past the oddities of Iowa caucuses. Iowa is so far from being even vaguely representative of the national population that its restrictions and requirements are now being destructive. Would that there could be a nation-wide or even region-wide gateway to a nomination.

  31. @GWPDA I believe this has more to do with the national staging of the campaigns more than Iowa and its first in the nation status. When lots of money is needed to get points in the national polls, a feedback loop sets in. Who is popular nationally becomes who is popular in Iowa. Another problem is the way polls are conducted. Who are getting calls and what are they being asked? Someone I know was recently polled and only the top five candidates were given as choices with a sixth choice of "other candidate." The system is definitely flawed but blaming Iowa is short-sighted.

  32. I am glad he will be fighting for us in the Senate. We need him there. Mr. Booker was part of a groundbreaking diverse group of candidates for president. It was an important milestone, breaking a glass ceiling for future candidates. Mr. Booker may one day be president.

  33. @Better American than Republican: Your commentary expresses my thinking completely. Senator Booker has a long political trajectory in front of him, and I certainly hope to see him again on the Presidential campaign trail. I will miss his hopeful and optimistic approach to life and problem solving solving. At least his presence will be felt in the Senate. G-d knows we need him there too!

  34. @Better American than Republican Are you forgetting that Obama was president?

  35. He's a good man. One of the best we have in elected office. His girlfriend grew up in my old neighborhood in New York City, she is a dynamic and highly accomplished woman from an impoverished background. Real People: principled patriotic workers for justice. Our country is full of such good people, we need to elect them as our representatives. He certainly represents me. Good Speed Cory Booker!

  36. @ab2020 : Well that is a fantastic recommendation for a President: "He is a good man and has a fantastic girlfriend."

  37. Booker is someone very public-spirited, caring, and committed to social progress. He's someone whom every sensible person would want in a governing role.

  38. @Eleanor N. Great guy to have in the Senate, but he’s no Obama and will never be President.

  39. As I watched the field of candidates, I became convinced that Cory Booker was the best person running. Not necessarily the best candidate but the best person. Well done, Senator Booker.

  40. @fast/furious Well said.

  41. Senator Booker, you are one class act, and the Senate desperately needs your wisdom and tenacity. Thank you for your continuing service.

  42. And, if you mean continuing service as a race baiter and SOLELY as one, more commonly referred to as a "one trick pony, then yes, he has wildly succeeded.

  43. @Michael Neal No kidding! I have always liked Mr. Booker. As for the vast sums of money argument, Sanders and Warren both have refused the Big Bad you allude to (though in fairness Warren more recently)....and African American voters favor Biden by wide margins. Are they racists? This is the best Democratic primary I have seen in my 50+ years, and I will be proud to support the winner.

  44. Mr. Booker was qualified but didn't strike a chord with engaged Democrats. End of story. I am monumentally indifferent to diversity in the Democratic field. I am absolutely riveted by the qualifications, ideals and programs of the candidates. I am sick of identity politics. Identity politics elected Trump and could elect him again. American Democrats have proved conclusively that they overwhelmingly ignore race and gender when selecting a Presidential candidate... does anybody remember who the last two were? If you have forgotten, their names were Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Dan Kravitz Dan Kravitz

  45. Sen. Booker would have made an excellent president and I am sad to see him leave the race. In part, I blame the DNC and their unfortunate rules for qualifying for the debates, themselves a multi-ring circus. I also blame the money madness foisted upon all candidates and the country as a whole by the utterly senseless Citizens United decision; how does one get their message out from behind the relentless begging required to run for office in 2020? But don't count the senator out; more people know about him now, and the VP slot can be filled in numerous ways, perhaps by him. In the meantime, I am proud that he's my senator and that he will continue to be a positive influence in and on that beaten-up McConnellized institution. Thank you for being who you are, Sen. Booker. We sons and daughters of the state of New Jersey know who you are and are proud to support you.

  46. @CP Couldn't agree more about the DNC's arcane debate process. Booker, Castro and Harris each had ideas the voters deserved to hear, and the Democratic primary is diminished by their absence. None was my candidate -- I chose early and I'm sticking with her -- but each brought significant experience and insight to the campaign. I'll miss their perspectives as the actual voting begins.

  47. This breaks my heart. His compassion, his intellect and his articulate manner of expressing himself is exactly what we need in the White House. But thank goodness he will remain in the Senate. His is not done with the things that our country needs desparately.

  48. @CP, I take your general points but note that Bloomberg and Styer are spending personal funds not the corporate money Citizens United changed the rules to allow. Pertinently, in 1976 in Buckley v. Valeo SCOTUS held that the section of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974 which effectively limited a candidate's expenditure of their own funds was unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. That reasoning has been extended several times. So it is actually worse than just Citizens United.

  49. The field is still likely the most diverse in history. There are two women candidates, a Jewish candidate, and an Asian candidate. Booker simply wasn't resonating with any demographic, including black voters.

  50. "His résumé, which had drawn national attention for its breadth throughout his career, was matched at every point. A Rhodes Scholar and former mayor? That also applied to former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. The first black person to be elected senator from his state? That also applied to Senator Kamala Harris of California." Perhaps this is partly the fault of media coverage. Why, for instance, does this argument not read the other way around? "Pete Buttigieg a Rhodes scholar and former mayor? That also applies to Cory Booker. Kamala Harris the first black person elected senator to their state? That also applies to Cory Booker." In a field that's chock-full of candidates with overlapping resumes -- senators and congressmen and mayors (or ex-mayors) and even a couple of billionaires to boot -- why is it Booker who's painted as "struggling to shine"?

  51. Senator Booker, as a contributor to your campaign, I hope you will run again. We need your voice. I’m the meantime, NJ, make sure he’s re-elected to the senate!

  52. Stating that he's"suspending" is campaign, rather than "ending' it drops him a few notches in my opinion. And I like him.

  53. @Scottilla There are good reasons why candidates call it a “suspension.” Suspending a campaign rather than ending it allows the campaign to work to retire campaign debts. They are prohibited from paying off a campaign’s debts after it has “ended.”

  54. It would have been unthinkable a decade ago to use race, gender or religion to define the reason a subgroup votes. Yet, the Press has become the greatest promoter of bias. I was at a board dinner when my dinner companion, a successful middle-age white woman former tech CEO declared to me her unwillingness to vote for "another white male". I wonder how she would have reacted if I had said, "I would never vote for a black female". This willigness to divide the country along racial, ethnic, gender and religious lines is fundamentally wrong

  55. @Chris Man, did you miss the point. I too am a middle-aged white woman, though in a much lowlier station in life, and I too am tired of being asked to suck it up and vote for another white male because to elect a person of color or woman would somehow spell doom for this country. I will vote for a three-toed sloth over Trump regardless of what genitalia it comes equipped with, but I am angry that women continue to be regarded as "unelectable" because "this country is just not ready for a woman president." That IS sexism, and in in its purist form, whether you are prepared to acknowledge it or not. We are not the ones willing to divide the country. We are the ones who seek to be represented and included. Can you imagine living your entire life, as I have, being told "it's just not a woman's turn this time"? We women are not the ones imposing the gender requirement. You are, under this transparent pretense that it's "divisive" unless we maintain the status quo of male hegemony.

  56. @Chris I hear you. It has now become completely acceptable to disparage whites, especially white males, in the media, in public, in polite conversation - anywhere at anytime. Reverse racism is now the norm. But the backlash against this has begun.

  57. @Chris I’d like someone to explain how the blanket statement about “never voting for another white man” isn’t racist. Granted, if I was faced with a choice of two equally good candidates, I’d choose a minority or woman (or minority woman). But if I think one candidate is better I’m voting for them regardless of race or gender. The only candidate I will never vote for again is the GOP one.

  58. Cory wasn't a very good candidate, this round. Give him time!

  59. I was hoping he'd stay in just so he could pull votes away from Biden. That was the only real contribution he could have made to this primary.

  60. Sorry to see Senator Booker leave the race, though it is the right thing to do at this point. He's a good man, but these are crazy times so he is apparently seen as too soft to beat trump. He will, and I hope all the others who have chosen to end their runs for now, will fully support the Democratic candidate with all his heart because he IS a good man.

  61. I met Booker in a coffeehouse just outside of Detroit. I wasn’t sure what he was doing there; not many other candidates had yet traveled to Michigan. We talked a bit, I introduced my daughter, he made a short video on my phone asking my absent 18 year old son to give him a look, I shook his hand and said good luck as he left. He was a good mayor, is a good senator and a good man. I’ve no doubt, non whatsoever, that he also would have been a good president.

  62. Perhaps. But when all you do is talk about race, then he will never go anywhere

  63. Difficult for a journalist to define just what the reasons are for why any candidate connects, or doesn't connect, with voters. It was always my impression that Cory Booker is a fine person, very intelligent, and an above average Senator. I simply could not imagine him as President. His overly caffeinated way of speaking strikes me as that of a self-help guru. If he had gone on to win the nomination I would, of course, vote for him. The candidate who impresses me the most - not so much because of policies or a single issue, but for basic core democratic values - is Pete Buttigieg. His calm intelligence and deeply thought through solutions fit my expectations for a President. Plus, he truly does seem to be the most mature of the bunch.

  64. @Pat Boice The downside re Mr. Buttigieg is that he has so little relevant experience. I'm mystified that so many people overlook that.

  65. @Maggie Mae - Experience in what? Look at the cumulative experience Congress has and they are lousy at their job with public confidence in the single digits, and getting nothing done but obstruction. Buttigieg has what it takes to appoint the right people to cabinet positions.

  66. I was studying and living in Newark when Booker was mayor and the difference he made was wonderful. He would have been a great President and I’m sad to see him leave. I know he was fairly criticized for being pro-corporate. But when you take a step back, and compare that downside with the relentless atrocity that is our current President, I think reasonable people will see Booker to have been a good option.

  67. We're not ready for "peace and unity" yet. Even those who don't like Trump's message of hate, fear, and divisiveness are in hate or fear of Trump and his Trumpettes. Even many who oppose Trump have been corrupted by his methods; the thing about "Trump Derangement Syndrome" is that we ALL have it to one extent or another, in one way or another - even his supporters. Too many people think that nice is not going to work to take Trump out. And that's fear talking.

  68. I think Cory Booker could have been a great candidate. Be he focused his entire campaign on one issue: race. Every comment he made, every rally he attended - revolved around race. Nothing else. I never heard him talk about healthcare or foreign policy - just race. He'd manage to bring up race even when addressing issues that had nothing to do with race. Not sure who gave him the poor advice to hammer over and over again on one issue. It's too bad because I think he could have been a top candidate. But you can't win a nomination as a one-issue candidate.

  69. @J.M. Why not? It worked for Trump.

  70. @J.M. You may be right that Booker needed to craft a broad agenda for his campaign. But, like it or not, race impacts virtually everything in American life and politics -- including foreign policy and healthcare.

  71. I agree that Booker’s campaign was too narrowly focused on race.

  72. I’m sorry to read this. He seems like the most genuine if the bunch. I’ve got my fingers crossed that he’ll be in the VP position Good wishes to Senator Booker and his positive message!

  73. I like Cory Booker and I'm sorry to see him go. However, I would like to know why the Editorial Board covered him as a candidate but ignored Tulsi Gabbard. I like her signature issue of getting out of wars and her status as a veteran. Getting out of wasteful forever wars is the key to taking on the key issues of global warming, repairing infrastructure, health coverage, and growing income inequality. There is nothing more important than climate change as an issue. If we fail on this issue all other issues will be meaningless. I'm terrified that we don't have a leading candidate who is a sure winner against Trump.

  74. @hd She wasn't ignored. She declined to participate. Huge difference.

  75. Senator Booker is an intelligent, articulate man and we are fortunate to have heard his points of view in prior debates. He will continue to fight the good fight as a senator.

  76. We need him in the senate but I am a bit discouraged that none of the newcomers are likely to be the presidential candidate. I am not inspired at all by Biden, Sanders is just too angry and preachy and could be as embarrassing as Trump on the international scene. I sort of like Warren but some of her economic plans scare me. I don’t especially want the stock market to crash and if she is the nominee I think it will. Right now I guess my favorite is Bloomberg.

  77. Cory Booker--I'm your fan. thanks for your wonderful spirit, your moral courage, and your contributions to the country. I wish you were still in the run, but I KNOW you will make a big difference no matter where you serve. You are smart, kind, wise, and we need you to help pull the USA back from the abyss. You've made an impact on me and many, many others.

  78. Senator Booker can play a role in who wins the nomination and should be a strong VP choice by the nominee. It would be nice to see Senator Booker back Mayor Pete as a young energetic team would be tough for Trump to beat. Democrats need to take the lead with a Young energetic candidate and not another 70 year old!

  79. I am so sorry to see Cory Booker drop out of the Presidential race. His message (as it has ALWAYS been) is full of hope. love and understanding of all human endeavors and problems. It is a voice that must be heard and followed if we are ever to become one united country again.

  80. @sassa418 Until we start hearing similar voices on the Republican side any hope of unification is a pipe dream. The Republicans need to get past their need for absolute power at any cost including their lack of honesty, dignity, scruples and integrity.

  81. Cory, it's not the quality of you or your campaign; it's the quality of the competition. The Seahawks may have been as good as Green Bay but they both can't continue in the playoffs (yes, I'm still a little sad about last night's game). We hope you'll be back.

  82. I’m sure he’ll be President one day. Just not now.

  83. @Ken Paille Or perhaps a famous gladiator?

  84. @SteerableDad What is the obsession about this? It was one statement in the heat of a senate hearing, defending a woman. Think about all the hyperbole that comes out of the mouth of Trump. I mean, if someone is going to obsess on hyperbole...Trump is the best fit.

  85. Thank you...that made me smile.

  86. That’s okay. And not for any reason regarding the presidency. We need him in the Senate, just like we need Kamala Harris there. Yet it is truly a disappointing testimony to our supposed “color blindness.” The Democrats preach against racism and bigotry. However, our front runners are lily white. A bit of hypocrisy, I would posit.

  87. @Kathy Lollock It might be "okay" but it's still a shame. Mr. Booker deserved to be on the stage. He brought a voice of intelligence, compassion, and dignity to the race. He's not as full of himself or singularly self-promoting as Mayor Pete. He's much more well-rounded than Kamala Harris. I'm going to miss him. Your comment is mostly just annoying.

  88. @Kathy Lollock Respectfully, I don't agree that racism was a major factor in this, the primary. Cory, as is Kamela, is widely liked and respected within his party, but they were always going to be underdogs against the even more familiar faces like Biden, Bernie, and Warren. Plus, Andrew Yang is still in the fight.

  89. @Kathy Lollock Who are the hypocrites? The black voters who gave him 2% support?

  90. Booker was picked out by Wall St. at Stanford or Oxford as a potential Obama, meaning a candidate who could deliver eight years of Democratic neoliberalism for his rich backers, before anyone has heard of Obama. So they made him mayor of Newark and senator from NJ. But then the Peter Principle kicked in, and from his embarrassing Kavanaugh “Spartacus” moment on, he just looked like an amiable dunce. Both he and Kamala simply not that good. Ironically, after the failure of their Booker plot to save themselves from progressive economics, the next black president will be Wall St.’s worst nightmare, AOC in 2028, when she’ll be Pete’s age and finally break the glass ceiling for women, when most Boomers will be dead and the progressive Millennial wave will crest.

  91. @Fred White You and your progressive millennial wave may hate us, Fred, but this Boomer is hoping to live long enough to see AOC and Joe Kennedy duke it out in a Democratic presidential primary. Like you, my money's on AOC, who'll replace the 2-term president who broke the glass ceiling for women.

  92. Rhodes Scholar who chooses to live in public housing We need more people like Booker

  93. @John — I commend Booker for living in the heart of urban Newark. That said, I find it difficult to believe that Booker’s income was low enough to qualify for public housing.

  94. He was my favorite. But with he and Castro out, that's $20 a month freed up for future senators Mark Kelly and Sara Gideon.

  95. Thanks, Cory. You may not have been my favorite candidate for president, but you sure delivered one of the funniest lines at the Democratic debates. Biden: “Before I legalize it nationally, I want to make sure we know a lot more about the science behind it.” Booker: “I heard him literally say we should not legalize marijuana. I thought you might have been high when you said it.”

  96. Personally I was hoping for a surprise Booker win and White House wedding. Everything happens at its own pace.

  97. Sad to learn that Sen. Booker has withdrawn from the race. Thank you for your service to this country.

  98. Seriously: One look at Newark and nobody would want him to be president.

  99. @Me: People from fly-over country say the same about New York. As if one individual is responsible for New York or Newark. Try reasoning or seriousness.

  100. If he wasn’t Vegan he might have had a shot. Mistrust of vegans transcends all levels socio economics, race and sexuality.

  101. @Mat - Sen Booker a Vegan! I didn't know that but he wasn't among my candidates.

  102. If I had Rosario Dawson as my girlfriend, I wouldn't stick around in the slimepit that is US power politics. There's whole new worlds for them to explore in the entertainment and movie business. And he won't have to compromise his principles. Much success to him and his enchanting lady.

  103. @Charlie, Not sure if serious. The entertainment industry as a place to get away from hypocrisy?

  104. Senator Booker ran a fantastic campaign and had one of the best ground games in Iowa and other early states. He was on many Iowans' lists. I can't believe Steyer made it to the last and next debate and Booker didn't. I think it's unfair that Steyer and Bloomberg are getting polling bumps with their $$$. The dearth of early state polls during the holidays was also a blow to Booker's chances of making the next debate, I'm sure the DNC didn't think that through.

  105. How about Corey Booker as Vice Presidential running mate ? You pick the Democratic nominee and Corey Booker makes the ticket much stronger and it's not because of his ethnicity .

  106. It is not enough for a candidate to BE a person of color ... they must also offer policies and solutions that will HELP people of color, as well as all Americans. It just so happens that that candidate is a 78-year old white guy named Bernie Sanders.

  107. This paper remains reliable in its insistence of reporting how the Democratic field gets less diverse as candidates drop out of the race. This race will produce, by definition, a single candidate which means it will not be diverse at all. So why point this out every time? It's obvious. It's boring. But more importantly, it's harmful to the Party and the electorate to make readers think that something is wrong when that something is the result of the fact that a single candidate must be picked. That person cannot be black and white and gay and straight and male and female and hispanic and asian. Please stop focusing on identity. Other things matter too.

  108. @SJG When 44 out of 45 presidents have been white men, yes, there is a pattern of discrimination. That is obvious.

  109. @SJG Well stated, thank you. The NYT implicit suggestion of racism and misogyny in a process that nominated a minority and a woman in our past three election cycles does a disservice to the electorate. Perhaps we should focus on the major party which has never nominated a minority or woman.

  110. Maybe because the other side is so much more diverse?! Or...maybe not.

  111. I know it's not over, but he's so valuable in the Senate.

  112. NOOOOO! I hate to see him drop out of the race. I hope he'll earn a Cabinet position under the new Democratic presidency, or perhaps even be considered as a VP running mate.

  113. Booker failed to present himself as a national leader although he thought that he did.

  114. Dear Cory Booker, I am so sorry you quit. Now we are the poorer.

  115. Democrats need to change the system so that so many interesting candidates can stay in the race until the voting starts. It’s shameful that only billionaires like Bloomberg an Steyer and very well funded candidates face the voters. And because White people have most of the money, people of color like Booker and Kamala Harris are eliminated before the first caucus. The Democratic system now is racist and classist because it so favors rich, White people as candidates and the political interests of rich, White people.

  116. @Rick Was the process that twice nominated PRESIDENT Barack Obama racist? How is it racist when black voters don’t support black candidates and Latino voters don’t support Latino candidates? It sounds like minority voters are more sophisticated and pragmatic than the electorate at large.

  117. @Rick - Up until "The Democratic system now is racist and classist because it so favors rich, White people as candidates and the political interests of rich, White people." I agreed with you. The DNC is taking hits for being as inclusive as they were.

  118. He'll be a great pick for a cabinet position!

  119. I doubt that President Trump will make him a member of his cabinet.

  120. @Dan Miklos. You’re right, Trump won’t. Because he won’t be president 13 months from now. :)

  121. @Dan Micklos you never know! ;-)

  122. There is something very wrong with a process that weeds out candidates of color. We're not even at the convention yet. We need to fix this so we can truly have representation from all parts of our culture.

  123. @Anita They're not being weeded out, though. Voters of color have just been supporting other candidates instead of Booker, Harris, or Castro.

  124. @Anita Though I think the process has been far more exclusive than it has been in the past, with a greater diversity of candidates, the problem is the demographic fact that the first two primary states are overwhelmingly white. I'd love to see a more diverse state, solidly Blue, lead off the primary season.

  125. @Anita Booker (for whatever reason) didn't seem to strike a chord with African-American voters and other voters of color. Nor did Kamala Harris. Biden seems to be vacuuming up that support.

  126. A welcome end to an insufferably sanctimonious candidate, funded by big money, for more of the same.

  127. @jrd , funded by big money? Not! He announced when he started he was not taking money from certain sources including oil and gas companies, pharmaceutical companies and Wall Street firms. Part of the reason he has run out of cash. Even if he was (he had, like Warren taken funds from "Big Money),these purity tests about where candidates get money could do more harm to progress than help. Winning is everything. Because of Obama winning, we got 2 Supreme Court justices, the Consumer Financial Bureau, Dodd-Frank (both opposed by Wall Street) and the Clean Power Plan (opposed by oil and coal companies) not to mention the Iran nuke deal. But because of purity, that progress has been reversed.

  128. @jrd Right? How dare someone bring ethics and accountability into the conversation, strive to find the good in people, and demonstrate what it means to be a decent human.

  129. @jrd Hopefully Senator Booker does not view this as an insult. I'm not suggesting anyone should aspire to be sanctimonious, but the world could use more people with a high moral compass who walk the the walk and talk the talk. I can criticize Senator Booker multiple ways, but he is a genuine "do the right thing" guy. We need more of him. P.S. We should all live in glass houses.

  130. I'm so sorry to read this! I knew it was a matter of time, still ... I'm saddened his uplifting message was not enough. I admire him tremendously, glad he will still be in the Senate, and hope to see his candidacy for President again, in not too distant future.

  131. Good decision -- even if it means a less diverse field. But we need socially conscious voices like Cory Booker's -- especially now in the G.O.P. - controlled Senate.

  132. @ Jackson 1) he went to Harvard 2) he was a Rhodes scholar (named after the racist colonialist Sir Cecil Rhodes who named the country Rhodesia after himself until it was renamed Zimbabwe after the colonialists were kicked out) 3) he has a second rate preachers oratorical skills 4) he is risk averse to a fault 5) he keeps talking about Newark and how he lives there (I would like to know how many hours a year) 6) he keeps playing the Kumbaya guy.

  133. @Blunt, He went to Stanford, not Harvard.

  134. Cory Booker's announcement makes me very sad. He is such a bright, compassionate and public spirited man. His stepping down somehow diminishes the competition.

  135. @Elizabeth Bennett Cory Booker is a smart man and looking at the bigger picture here: the importance of recapturing the Senate. He can do a lot of good in the Senate and needs to be able to focus on his Senate re-election campaign. Just one of the reasons he would have been a good President. He is young enough to run again in 2028 however -- let's look forward to that!

  136. @Elizabeth Bennett Really? the other candidates aren't worth all of the hard work they have put into this election for the American people? He should never of been in this race to begin with. This country is sliding into madness and we need action not inspirational words that don't matter while Trump is putting kids in cages, starting wars and just destroying the foundation of this country. He should of stepped out of this race months ago. There was no traction because he didn't offer the American people anything of substance.

  137. Once again it is the Democratic Party machine that is forcing 'mainstream' candidates on the primaries. Pelosi's holding the impeachment articles until just before the Primary/Caucus season begins is going to help those candidates who are not Senators the most - I guess she wants Biden.

  138. He doesn't deserve to be dog catcher if "peace and unity" is the best message he can deliver. We can get toothless platitudes from a novelty candidate like Williamson. But he's quitting in time to run for re-election as senator so he won't lose his power, perks, and platform for sanctimony.

  139. He had no business running in the first place. He didn’t do much for Newark as Mayor and he hasn’t proved himself as Senator. Get back to work. New Jersey has numerous issues such as infrastructure and unfunded pension liabilities. Otherwise you can follow that empty suit Christie in the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

  140. It’s sad that candidates like Steyer and Bloomberg are able to buy their way in while others like Booker are forced to drop out due to finances.

  141. @Dan Booker didn't drop out due to finances. He dropped out because very few Democrats supported him. Dan Kravitz

  142. @Dan Booker was not a good candidate, and that trumps money.

  143. @Dan Why is it sad? Booker campaigned and won lots of media coverage for about a year and only received about 2 percent in the polls?

  144. Senator Booker had a discordant message - wanting to unify the country while simultaneously whining about his lack of support implying the process was racist, even when he wasn't supported by Black voters. Can’t have it both ways. Thank you, next.

  145. I never quite understood what his campaign was all about. Was he evolving from his earlier centrist positions and embracing the progressive policy platforms of Sanders and Warren? Last November Peter Beinart , Professor of Journalism at CUNY explained "Why Cory blew it" in a piece in The Atlantic which foresaw this outcome.

  146. He would be an excellent VP choice, as long as there's a strong candidate behind him for his Senate seat. Let's all please keep an eye on McConnell. He needs to be removed as much as Trump.

  147. @DP You can contribute to Amy McGrath's campaign-- she seems like she has a good head on her shoulders.

  148. Thanks for trying, Cory. Now you can get back to doing what's best for the country, especially when it comes to bipartisan legislation. Set a new standard for your colleagues.

  149. @Locals4Me I'd appreciate him doing something for NJ, the state that he was elected to represent! Likable guy, impressive resume and he's never been indicted, which is sadly too uncommon for a NJ politician.

  150. Good riddance. One more Stop Sanders candidate down the tubes.

  151. @Doug Tarnopol Careful. It's comments like this that keeps undecided voters from supporting Sanders. And no candidate can afford that.

  152. N Smith: Who are you? Who appointed you the censor about what we should be careful about or not? It is still a free country and we can express our opinions as long as we do it civilly. Take a nice walk. It is nice outside.

  153. @N. Smith C'mon, man: that's the only reason Cory jumped in: Biden seemed wobbly and, as the NYT (to its eternal credit) was nice enough to note, there is indeed a Stop Sanders campaign. Neera Tanden, Mayor Pete was there. You can find the article, if you didn't read it.

  154. So long Booker. You won't be missed.

  155. As President, he would have been destroyed within four years. That is the way of our nation. But as Senator from a friendly state where he has perpetual support, he can continue as Senator for many years through reelections and he can do remarkably good deeds for all Americans there without the focus given the Presidents of hatred and anger.

  156. If Buttigieg drops out, wondering if the Times headline will read: “Buttigieg Drops Out, Leaving no LGBT Candidates in the Race.” We have the most diverse candidate field in history: a gay candidate, females, a Jewish person. We’ve never had a president from any of those groups, and yet the Times insists on casting their reporting here very narrowly in terms of race. Growing tired of the narrow perspective.

  157. @IntentReader Thank you for pointing this out. And, FWIW, I believe that Biden would be only the second Catholic president.

  158. @IntentReader . Three Jewish persons.

  159. IntentReader, I could not agree more.

  160. Another synthetic candidate with little to offer, like Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke and Julian Castro, falls by the wayside. Looks like we will have a repeat of the Hillary and Bernie show, this time with Joe and Bernie.

  161. Biden-Booker, Bernie-Booker, Bloomberg-Booker, Warren-Booker. What do you think?

  162. @Franz all but Warren-Booker is a go for me

  163. @Franz: Warren-Sanders

  164. @Franz It will be Trump/Pence, but keep your hopes up.

  165. Drive through Newark one day and show me what he did.

  166. @PM Exactly. He claims he was some kind of Mayor savior for Newark.

  167. @PM As Mayor, I think he did a lot for Newark primarily by not being corrupt and not ignoring problems, as his predecessors did. You can't snap your fingers and eradicate poverty, but you can keep it from getting worse on your watch, and I think Booker did so. The problem is, he also started taking money from big donors (which to be fair, is consistent with what the Clintons and Obama did), so he started to feel less like a man of the people and more like a man carefully triangulating for higher office. His voting record on the pharmaceutical bill that would have helped reduce drug prices alienated a lot of progressives I know, and his support of charter schools alienated teachers. I think he's a good man. But I don't think he had the "it" factor in a time when people are clamoring for change.

  168. Thanks so much for your honesty, service, thoughtfulness, and for putting yourself out there. And for reminding us that the foundation of the Democratic party looks nothing like the rest of the candidates on the stage. For me, your shining moment in this campaign was at the end of the (nth) debate when you ad-libbed a closing statement with a shout-out to John Lewis, and said that we need to go to the mountaintop. VP is probably out given your Senate campaign, but looking forward to your service - a cabinet post? - in post-Trump America

  169. Cory Booker is a good man and I hope he continues to serve New Jersey as its senator, assuming he wins the election. I think he has learned a lot during his current run for president and hopes he considerers running again. I look forward to his leadership in the senate.

  170. It is a sad day. Booker brought so much to the presidential primaries with a message of unity. And, yes, his firsts were matched by other candidates, but he is just one extraordinary person. Maybe VP and then a run in 20204.

  171. I don’t know Cory Booker that well,but I’ve always liked him. I’m a conservative person,whatever difference that makes.

  172. I respect Booker tremendously both for his message and for making the hard decision to step down now. We need MORE candidates willing to make this hard decision so Democrats can focus on just a couple possible paths to 2020. Splitting fundraising and attention in so many different directions just makes it harder to fight Trump. In the coming weeks, I hope that more primary candidates will recognize this and drop out respectably. I also hope their supporters will recognize that winning the 2020 election is more important than backing any one particular candidate.

  173. Winning is more important than a particular candidate. Yes. But not more important than a particular direction. Choosing a neoliberal centrist is what got us Trump in the first place. Many voters of both parties reject neoliberalism. The 2016 choice should have been Trump v Sanders. Maybe we will get that in 2020. Trump v Warren would amount to the same.

  174. All I know is, in the debates Booker sounded like a game show host impersonating Barack Obama.

  175. @mpound I like the guy, but that description is spot-on.

  176. @mpound I thought about that Obama impersonation during his 2016 Convention speech; I liked him before that but he was trying too hard to "wow" us. I think he's a good guy but somehow he never quite rings true for me.

  177. @mpound That does a disservice to Barack Obama. Cory Booker never embodied Obama’s vision and sincerity. Not even close.

  178. Corey Booker is a good man who will help the eventual 2020 Democratic nominee fight for victory and help end the disastrous Trump campaign to Make America Hate Again. November 3 2020.

  179. From a distance he seemed terrific. The unfortunate part was that when he spoke, his factual emphasis was on telling stories about what he did for Newark, a city that never returned from the devastation of riots. He's been an excellent senator and serves his constituency well. His role in government and history is secure.

  180. It is unfortunate that the ability to raise vast sums of money, or have vast sums to begin with, becomes the most important qualification of anyone seeking public office in the US.

  181. It’s unfortunate but not unbelievable.

  182. @Robert I agree with your general point--money in politics is toxic. However, Senator Booker's failed candidacy is a poor example of this. Senator Booker has been in the national spotlight for more than a decade. He was a star Mayor and remains a highly respected Senator. All within miles of one of the the biggest media markets in the world. Yet, he cannot even consistently poll above 5% whereas no-name candidates like Yang and Klobachar can? That is on him.

  183. @Robert H. Boyte True, marginal candidate Buddy Roemer form Louisiana in 2012 was always demanding to get the money out of politics with campaign finace reform—no PACS, limit contributions to $1000, full disclosure. NO honest person will have a problem making his proposal into law.

  184. I don't dislike Booker, but his positions and affiliations were not made for this primary electorate. Let's remember that Cory is pro-charter school and he's in deep with Big Pharma. The voters who care about health care and unions were never going to accept him. In this particular circumstance I don't think race was a huge factor (although it usually is).

  185. @Cousy While Booker is still hanging onto the charter school model, it seems he is currently rejecting money from big pharma. I cannot defend his record in taking campaign contributions. But, all current politicians come out of a political environment where huge amounts of money are required to run a successful campaign. If we are now transitioning to more responsible fundraising models, can we afford to dump every Democrat who did what they needed to survive politically in the very recent past? That kind of purity test leaves us at a serious disadvantage, and with only a couple of candidates nationwide. We might need some sort of amnesty going forward regarding past contributions, even as we insist on more accountability now and in the future.

  186. Corey is an honest and good man. I hope he will stay in government and continue to advocate for all people.

  187. I couldn’t always agree with Cory Booker’s platform. But, he excels in projecting warmth and decency Even when discussing difficult stuff. Listening to Mr Booker leaves a person feeling hopeful. I’m hoping he sticks around in politics for a very long time.

  188. My only prior knowledge of Booker was in the televised parts of the Kavanaugh hearing and I was not impressed. Not with him and not with most of the others in the room.

  189. @Margo What, you didn't think he was Spartacus?

  190. @JerseyGirl Good one! I had forgotten that!

  191. @JerseyGirl Nope.

  192. He would be a stellar VP. I applaud him for stepping up.

  193. Another B list Democratic presidential contender for the nomination drops out. The other B list who dropped out was Beto. That leaves Biden, Bloomberg and Bernie to duke it out. Bernie is surging in Iowa polls and Biden should see the writing on the wall after his picture standing alongside bipartisan worst war mongers in history behind a sitting president who made colossal blunder in initiating wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, none other than George W. Bush. My prediction is that Bloomberg will make the 2020 presidential election, a battle of the billionaires by his commitment to spend a solitary billion dollars out of his 50 billion dollars to slither his way into the white house. Like he is waiting like a vulture to see all the democrats running until the super Tuesday to drop dead. Sorry Cory your Spartacus moment will be all what you will be known for. Hope you and Ms Dawson have a lasting friendship. Thank you for making the Democratic presidential contenders a more compact crowd.

  194. Booker might have been a viable candidate had he not been owed by Big Pharma. He was against Medicare for All and for me this was the disqualifying factor. I won't vote for any Democratic candidate that does not endorse Medicare for All.

  195. @Purple Spain - So you'll let Trump win, just because ... . What or who is worse? I'd say "attitude".

  196. This is why the Democrats have been losing big since 2010; "Bipartisanship", "Inclusiveness", and yet more Black candidates after we already had a black President. I'm not a bigot. The people don't want retreads. The people want a fighter, not an appeaser. But actually, this was a very smart decision on Corey's part, instinctive or deliberate. He is needed in the Senate, not the White House. There as President is only four years as opposed to six years with likely continuous reelection. He can do much more good for everyone there.

  197. Booker speech always made me think of a junior high vocabulary word : Smarmy : extremely polite or helpful or showing a lot of respect in a way that is annoying or does not seem sincere:

  198. I wish there was also a ranked-choice measure incorporated into primary debate qualifications. Obviously, the primary is a race to choose the candidate amongst candidates, but primaries pitch to the furthest left or right. Booker and Harris clearly have more support than their poll numbers show, and Kasich and Rubio would have benefitted from a ranked-choice measure last cycle.

  199. I really like Booker. He is a calm and smart man and would be a great national leader. He avoided the sweeping policy changes and therefore probably didn't garner as much coverage as his fellow candidates. But his steady hand and reasonable ideas, as well as his personal persuasiveness, convinced me he would have made a great president. He was an Obama type of leader without the grand rhetoric. I guess that means a candidate needs some sort of grand idea to win. Promising continuity, rationality and niceness seems to flout where the electorate is these days.

  200. @David Perhaps Booker emphasized niceness too much. The country needs unity, but it also needs justice Trump and his Republican enablers have suffered no consequences for their unethical and dangerous actions. At the ballot box, they have endured some comeuppance for their betrayal of the country and the law, but not enough compared to the great harm they've done.

  201. @David absolutely right. His unwillingness to go full AOC hurt him among the Twitter-verse lunatic Left base that is running the primary phase of the Democrats race.

  202. @David As a republican I can only hope a majority of Democrat voters see candidates like CB as you do- calm and smart.

  203. It's hard to know what happened here. Booker was a great candidate on paper and in person. He's a Stanford graduate, Rhodes Scholar earning former mayor and current US Senator. And yet, a snoozer like Buttigieg comes along and gives the nomination to Biden or Warren. It's a head-scratcher.

  204. If it's Biden, Sanders or Buttigieg in the top slot then it better be a black female. Stacey Abrams perhaps? If it's Klobuchar or Warren then Mr. Booker would be a no-brainer pick for VP.

  205. Senator Booker is still totally in the race. Totally. Gotta be the leader for Veep at least.

  206. Cory Booker was my second or third choice of candidate, after Elizabeth Warren. I'd still like to see him be her running mate. I hate a process where Cory Booker and Kamala Harris drop out while stuffed shirts like Pete Buttigieg are still in, not to mention people that have no business at all running as Democrats like Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer.

  207. Why Mayor Pete eclipsed Booker is a bit of a mystery. In part it may have been Pete's status as shiny new media object. Also, being white and gay helped showcase him as a boy-next-door sort of minority candidate. But another part of Pete's eclipsing of the mayor of a larger more complicated city may have been due to the fact that Booker runs hot--as In his Senator Spartacus moment before the campaign began--and Pete never seems to lose his cool . Also, the big punch against Biden that Booker telegraphed before the first debate was thrown by Kamela Harris, who managed to steal Broker's thunder and ding Biden at the same time. All that said, Booker has a bright future.

  208. Women, Latinos and African-Americans have the power to select the Democratic nominee of their choice. Mr. Booker polled poorly in all three voter blocs. Thus he could not beat Evil. He is a good man and has a bright future.

  209. Both Harris and Booker had the biggest mouths and displayed the loudest outrage during the Kavanaugh hearings, thinking that would get them to the White House. Seems the people don't go for grandstanders after all.

  210. Dear Senator Booker This was not your time but perhaps you can spend the rest of the year advocating the senate take up the 200plus bills passed by the house. It is time for someone to highlight the travesty of a Senate that doesn’t vote on anything but judges.

  211. Booker needs to get some more bills passed so he can build a following, he's still young and he has time try again 2032.

  212. Diversity is important but not more important than electing someone other than Trump.

  213. I always felt excluded when he talked about "my community".

  214. Empty suits don’t always make the grade. Booker strategized that he could emulate Obama and slide into the WhiteHouse simply because he comes across as a good speaker like most empty suits tend to be. Sucking up to Schumer and Pelosi also didn’t produce any slick results. Now he can go back and dust off the Newark NJ renaissance that has been an empty promise of NJ politicians for decades. That Trump was elected should have been proof enough that this angle won’t work again. Scary outlook for the Dems grasping at straws for a strategy they can sell us. Their slate of candidates resemble bumper cars driven by adolescents.

  215. Glad to see him leave. Weed this field down to one candidate, asap, so all the focus is on extricating the current disastrous mess occupying the White House.

  216. All it takes is money. (We need to change our requirements for entrance into the Presenditial race.)

  217. Cory - we are so grateful to have you represent us as a Senator. Do not feel discouraged. We’re with you!

  218. Cory looked interesting to me but then he never really let us know who he was or what he stood for until it was too late.

  219. What's noticeable and telling is that African-American voters seem to largely prefer Joe Biden over the two main African-American candidates, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. That says something about Harris and Booker, although I'm not sure what.

  220. Harris and Booker ran the Obama 2.0 Playbook not realizing or not believing how toxic the Obama brand is among many blacks. If anyone believes blacks support Crime Bill Biden, I have some oceanfront property in Kansas I’d like to sell them.

  221. I'm glad he threw his hat in the ring, but the diversity of ideas that unite and advance our American experience are more important than gender and race. Ben Carson wants to throw the poor on the trash heap like wrinkled rinds at HUD and Gina Haspel ran a secrete torture chamber in Thailand, destroyed 92 interrogation videotapes of torture and is the director of the CIA. My hope is the blue wave in 2018 will turn into a tsunami this year and bring new people who understand why all legislative Powers shall be vested in a Congress of the United States rather than a president that tends toward the monarchy, as Patrick Henry warned James Madison will happen with someone like Trump.

  222. I think Booker might have been our single most "electable" candidate: a charismatic African-American with a moderate-friendly agenda, strong business support, and a striking temperamental contrast to Trump's mishmosh of viciousness and ignorance. Unfortunately, we Democrats are at most marginally more drawn to substance than those on the other side, and have restricted our main options to a senescent gaffe machine, an angry old man who found a hair in his soup, a guy who's barely eligible by age and seems to have no core beyond ambition... and a superbly qualified, clearly brilliant woman who'll somehow have to overcome our country's misogyny and anti-intellectualism. It was once said that "God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America." Some days I wonder if we've run beyond our divine favor.

  223. This is very sad ... for me, for the country, and for our system. Perhaps the best qualified to be a unifying leader, he was victim to the pettiness, greed, and egocentricity of each of the other Democrats (and certainly Republicans). Oh well, now there is no one to hold the "pack" to the human standards of decency, civility, amicability, empathy, thoughtfulness and honesty that I (and I hope others) certainly crave. Now it's just another (dirty) election.

  224. Cory Booker was the only candidate who genuinely made me smile.

  225. It seems like the good candidates are gone.

  226. I originally supported Cory Booker. Problem was he never took a stand. Many other candidates were in favor of Medicare for all and other entitlements. i can't recall him saying anything at all about the topic or maybe he couldn't get the coverage. He is perhaps the most eloquent of all the candidates and would make an outstanding president but yo haver to have ideas, goals and thing you want to work on. Sorry to see he's left the race,

  227. Never had a chance, never will. Now the rest just need to stop wasting time and money and decide between Sanders or Biden already.