South Carolina is seen as critical to Sen. Cory Booker’s presidential chances, with its potential wealth of black voters. But Thursday’s headlines belonged to an old white guy.
Democrats like to boast about the diversity in their list of candidates for the presidential nomination: blacks, and browns, and gays, and women and weirdos. That’s where the nation’s going, they say. The dominance of the white male, they add, is waning.
But even before Joe Biden made his candidacy official Thursday, he was leading in almost every poll in which his name appeared. Number two in almost all those polls — Bernie Sanders, another old, white guy. In fact, the average of all the major polls has three white guys — add Pete Buttigieg — in the top four. In California this week, Booker was asked whether the Democrats were in danger of nominating another old white guy.
“First of all, let’s take a moment and celebrate the most diverse presidential nomination field any party has ever seen at any time in the United States of America. This is a tremendous, tremendous moment in American history — that we have the most qualified people coming from many, many different backgrounds and I think that’s wonderful,” Booker said. “We’re very early in this race. No decision has been made. I am excited about the chance to put my ideas, my experiences, and who I am before the voters of California and this state as a whole.”
We raised the question at the She the People presidential forum Wednesday.
“I think it’s not an either/or because representation fundamentally means that they represent your values,” said Jess Torres Woolford, interim communications director for She The People, a national networking organization for women of color. “So I think for a lot of folks who are undecided right now, there’s a huge field. I heard recently that there are actually over 250 people who have filed with the FEC to be able to file for presidency, or run for president, which is just a measure of how much excitement but also how much energy there really is right now. I think it’s about quality values and really speaking to people authentically on where they’re at.”
Booker says he believes he’ll be the nominee and all this talk about white males will be moot. And then the talk will swing to whether Democrats can field a ticket with gender diversity.