Considered his "coup de send", this event allowed Booker to turn a page after the start of his candidacy, in which the New Jersey Democrat fell behind in polls and fundraising behind a half a dozen rivals.
Booker immortalized his central theme of "justice for all" with a new sense of urgency from the scene of the Newark Military Park – invoking the "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., written at that time in 1963. and his statement that "justice too long deferred is a denied justice".
"We are here today to say that we can not wait," said Booker.
Booker also reiterated his commitment to lead a positive campaign while President Donald Trump and others were trying to "make us fear each other, not to love and hate each other".
"Critics will tell us that a campaign fueled by grace and love and by deep mutual trust can not beat that," Booker said. "But I say that's the only way to win."
The rally begins a two-week national tour for Booker, which will take him next week to Iowa, Georgia and Nevada. But we do not know if it will revive his campaign, which took a long time to accelerate in the 10 weeks following its launch on February 1.
At a call to reporters this week, the highest officials of Booker's campaign said they were pleased with how the campaign has unfolded so far and do not think they need to A decisive moment at this stage. instead, they hope to systematically build their infrastructure and momentum to reach their peak at the right time.
"We are trying to win the elections," Addisu Demissie, Booker's campaign manager, told reporters on Thursday. "We are not trying to win a news cycle."
However, as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg proves, the Booker campaign was hoping that for a moment it would be in the spotlight on Saturday to help keep it "relevant to the conversation", as it was the case. said Demissie.
On Saturday, the format attracted Booker's remarkable oratorical skills, which have always led the crowd to stand up during his country turns among the main primitive primary states.
It was not a perfect show of strength, however, despite Booker's advantage for his hometown. According to Newark police, the crowd, which eventually numbered between 4,000 and 4,300 people, took a long time to arrive and the program was delayed by about an hour.
Booker has been trying to spark enthusiasm for the event on social media and during a series of appearances in local media this week, touting his "festive party atmosphere", including food trucks and entertainment for children.
"We are launching at home," said Booker in an interview on local radio. "I do not know if there has been a presidential campaign since Brick City."
A Booker campaign assistant, minimizing questions about turnout, said the event was meant to "create the atmosphere of a barbecue in his hometown … it's not supposed to be a "traditional" gathering. "
But he wore all the markers of one – a patriotic slap and campaign slogan, "Justice for All", highlighted on the stage and above the stands for the crowd. An imposing American flag was hanging from a nearby building and a brass band warmed the crowd, accompanied by a list of political figures, including Governor Phil Murphy and US Senator Bob Menendez.
The Booker campaign management said they saw the event as an important "turning point" for Booker, who set out his overall vision of the country and this election, following the many announcements announced at the weekend. first quarter by a seemingly infinite number of candidates. Indeed, these announcements are still coming: Buttigieg is expected to formalize this decision in South Bend, Indiana, on Sunday after an exploratory phase, and former Vice President, Joe Biden, is still waiting in the scenes.
Unlike other candidates, however, Booker dissociated his launch rally from the official announcement of his campaign, getting two bites of the apple at ten weeks interval.
The event aimed to present the full spectrum of Booker's call as he confronts a Democratic group filled with intriguing candidates. The decor evoked not only Booker's roots in Newark's political life, but also his home today: as he often observes on the track and repeats Saturday, he is the only candidate living in a disadvantaged neighborhood.
He presented both facets of his biography as factors in his pragmatic approach to governance.
"A true progressive movement is not progress for communities like mine, hijacked today, because it promises that perfection will come tomorrow," said Booker.
This is the older brother of Booker, who will be diving into the waters of 2020 during a trip to South Carolina next week, to meet with the NAACP of Aiken County. Bookyn introduced her mother, Carolyn, who said, "Cory will be the kind of president whose character makes us proud."