What if we had a debate, and everybody won? Seriously, in the third Democratic debate every candidate had good moments and no one really fell on their face. It was a genuinely good evening for almost everyone.
But Cory Booker was among those who had a standout evening. From an upbeat opening to a genuinely engaging closing, Booker was on top of his game Thursday evening. For the most part, he remained out of confrontations, but he also didn’t shy away from engaging on difficult issues.
Booker was also the source of some of the evening’s best humor, from his answer on whether he would force the nation to become vegans, including his moment of speaking Spanish (by translating the word “No” as “No”) Booker came across as being at ease, on top of his material, and capable of moving deftly from one topic to another.
Booker used the question about his diet to move on to talking about factory farms and their effects on pushing family farms out of the market — a good point that no one else was dealing with. He also clawed back some time to deal with veterans issues, which had been ignored to that point.
And on the issue of racial justice and how it affects everything from environment to education, he was at the top of not just his game, but provided one of the best answers of the evening.
In his closing, Booker responded to the question about his biggest setback by talking about his first political campaign, and did it again with a mixture of humor and engaging storytelling. Some of the other closings were starting to feel a bit overused, but Booker’s came off as both spontaneous and interesting.