Day Two of the “Justice for All” tour started with an event in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa where the senator held an education roundtable with teachers and parents after a private meeting and tour with students. After that, everyone trekked across the state to Carroll.
Monday night, the campaign was in Sioux City for a “Conversations with Cory” event with about 100 Iowa Democrats.
It was current-vintage Booker, pushing not a warm and fuzzy love, but love as a powerful force, one that can transform a nation on the brink of dissolving into tribalism. These Iowans, mostly white, mostly liberal, and definitely anti-Trump, loved it.
“Behold, here cometh the dreamer. Let us slay him and see what becomes of his dream,” Booker said, quoting a Bible passage inscribed on a plaque at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. “What will become of our dream now? The dream of our forefathers and mothers in towns like Buxton. Immigrants from Europe. Migrants from the south. What will become of our dream that our forefathers and mothers died for on beaches from Iwo Jima to Normandy. What will become of our dream? Black blood, and white blood, and Christian blood, dying together in places like Mississippi.”
“He was terrific. I like his style and the way he answered questions. He was very rousing,” said Sioux City, Iowa resident Paul Chelstad.
“Here in Iowa we get a chance to see a lot of the national candidates, so for the last 20 years or so I’ve been seeing and listening to quite a few of the candidates. I think this was probably the best performance I’ve seen since I saw Obama at Morningside [College] in 2008,” said Mark Leonard of Plymouth County, Iowa.
“I think that his message of love is simple, and people sometimes think that that’s not going to work, but I believe that,” said South Dakota resident Jo Hedstrom. “People were asking about specifics tonight and wanted him to say that as well, so I think that it was cool that he was able to not just say what may be taken as cliché, but that he stands behind it and his record has shown it.”
“I guess if it was today, I would probably be voting for Sen. Booker. I am kind of reluctant to make my decision too soon. I know there will be some debates in June, but he came across very strongly today. I feel very good about supporting him and hopefully that feeling will remain,” said Susan Leonard of Carroll, Iowa.
Leonard was representative of the crowd Monday night. They loved Booker’s presentation, but still have 17 other candidates to hear and choose from. Booker Beat coverage is headed to Nevada, Iowa next where press have been told they’ll get some one-on-one time with Booker.