The Atlantic

Cory Booker Is Damned If He Does, Damned If He Doesn’t

For a black candidate, expressing anger is risky. But in the post-Obama Democratic Party, not expressing anger is risky, too.
Source: Yuri Gripas / Reuters

There are important differences—and even more important similarities—between Barack Obama’s announcement for president in 2007 and Cory Booker’s announcement last week. The similarities could sink Booker’s chances of winning the Democratic nomination.

One obvious difference is that Obama downplayed his ties to the African American community. Obama launched his campaign in Springfield, Illinois, which is , rather than Chicago, where he actually lived. After initially inviting his longtime pastor, Jeremiah Wright, to deliver the invocation, Obama . And Obama described his experience in Chicago in largely race-neutral terms. He about working with “pastors and laypeople to deal with communities that had been ravaged by plant closings” and learning that “the decisions to close a steel mill was made by distant executives, that the lack of textbooks and computers in a school could be traced to skewed priorities of politicians a thousand miles away.” Obama he wanted to work in a black community and was inspired by the election of Chicago’s first black mayor, Harold Washington.

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