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Sen. Cory Booker will meet with voters in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday

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Sen. Cory Booker meet and greet

Cedar Rapids Democratic West Side Office, 3140 16th Avenue, SW, Suite C — Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 10 a.m.

Video still of Sen. Cory Booker questioning Brett Kavanaugh during Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Sen. Cory Booker will be in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday morning, for a “meet and greet” with local Democrats. According to the Linn County Democratic Party, the event is supposed to draw attention to local Democratic candidates, but it’s likely that many of the people Booker meets and greets will want to talk about Brett Kavanaugh.

The New Jersey Democrat took a lead role in questioning Kavanaugh during his Senate confirmation hearings. Early in the proceeding, Booker announced he would release documents committee chair Sen. Chuck Grassley would not make available to either the public, or even to senators not on committee. The documents contradicted statements Kavanugh made under oath during both that hearing and his 2006 confirmation hearing to become a federal judge.

Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, threatened Booker with expulsion from the Senate as soon as Booker announced his intention. Booker replied, “Bring it.” Cornyn didn’t bring it. Grassley backed down and released the documents.

(There have only been 15 expulsions in the history of the U.S. Senate, and all but one happened during the Civil War, when supporters of the Confederacy were expelled. The sole exception was in 1797, when William Blount of Tennessee was expelled for conspiring to assist the British Empire’s attempt to expand its territory along the American frontier.)

On Saturday, just hours after the Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh appointment to the Supreme Court, Booker was in Des Moines to address the Iowa Democratic Party’s “Fall Gala” fundraiser.

“Even in the face of a defeat, we can never be defeated,” Booker told the audience. “Even when we are knocked down, we have to understand that we are never knocked out.”

He then pivoted to a theme he has constantly stressed since he was a city councilman, and later mayor, in Newark, New Jersey: reaching across party lines and cultural divisions.

We Democrats can never be pulled down so low that we hate folk. We can’t hate Republicans. We need each other as Americans. We’ve got to lead with love. You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people — all the people.

Booker, who is in his first full-term in the Senate, is widely believed to be preparing a run for president in 2020, although he has not confirmed any such plans.

While Booker is still just a potential candidate, an actual candidate will also be in Iowa on Tuesday. President Donald Trump will be holding a campaign rally in Council Bluffs. Trump filed the paperwork for his reelection campaign on the same day he was inaugurated. No president has ever done such a thing before, but the move allows Trump to spend donated money on legal expenses related to the special counsel’s investigation of his 2016 campaign.

The Democrats also have an official presidential candidate, who has been campaigning in Iowa. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland filed the paperwork to run for president in August 2017, and ran his first campaign commercial in Iowa in February.

The hour-long Linn County event will begin at 10 a.m., at the Cedar Rapids Democratic West Side Office, 3140 16th Avenue, SW, Suite C.


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