Who knew? In addition to Oprah, Newark Mayor Cory Booker is also good friends with Congressman John Adler. That’s the way it was presented at an Adler rally today in Willingboro.
The event was well-attended by the party faithful with a slew of local Democratic celebrities on the dais. Local candidates were well-represented including Aimee Belgard, candidate for Burlington County Freeholder, and Jay Coltre, candidate for Burlington County Sheriff.
After the introductions, John Adler addressed the crowd of about 150 supporters. I’ve heard Adler speak many times, and this was by far his best performance. In the past, he has seemed a bit stiff to me, but today he was on top of his game. His ten-minute extemporaneous presentation was lively and he delivered a very positive message. The congressman reminded the crowd that he was there to serve them, not necessarily the party, and that he hoped to have another two years to help the President with his agenda. (I’m not sure how this is in accord with Adler’s health care position, but this was a “feel good” rally and the audience seemed to buy it.)
The popular Newark mayor was the highlight of the afternoon. He spoke from the heart, telling the audience about his childhood in North Carolina, the influence that his father had on him, and the need to be partisan during elections, but non-partisan in governing. My favorite line was about Democrats’ “sedentary agitation” – getting all worked up about Fox “News” and other demagoguery, but not proactively working toward fixing the system. Booker reminded me of another young politician – John F. Kennedy. His remarks were passionate and sincere. But unlike JFK, Booker was not born into wealth and his story was inspiring. When talking about the election of Governor Christie, he lamented about the low voter turnout in his own Newark election district, and implored the audience not only to vote this year, but to get the message out to their friends and co-workers.
The mayor concluded with excerpts from Langston Hughes’ poem Let America Be America Again:
O, let America be America again-
The land that never has been yet-
And yet must be-
The land where everyone is free.
The land that’s mine-
The poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s,