Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick endorsed Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s senatorial campaign at the American Whig-Cliosophic Society on Tuesday, saying he’d vouch for Booker even “if [he] was running for dogcatcher.”
Patrick said he approved of Booker’s reforms in public education, telling the story of his own underprivileged upbringing and the scholarship program at Milton Academy that moved him significantly higher up the social ladder.
“I went to a big, broken, overcrowded, sometimes violent public school,” Patrick said of his childhood. “I don’t remember a time I didn’t love to read, but I don’t remember actually owning a book of my own until 1970, when I got a break through a program called ‘A Better Chance.’ ” The program enabled him to achieve his American dream, he explained.
Education is the key to making the American dream possible, Patrick said. Booker is a politician who is interested in restoring public schools in Newark and across New Jersey, he explained.
Patrick also said he supported Cory Booker for avoiding abstract policies and pursuing policy “where it touches people."
During the question-and-answer session after the speech, Whig-Clio president Matt Saunders ’15 asked how Booker would encourage Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to work together on different issues.
“There are examples in Cory’s work as mayor, reaching across differences and working with people who come from a different point of view,” Patrick said. “He takes some heat for that from time to time, but frankly, that’s the kind of leadership we need.”
Patrick further noted that politicians should get past the division of Republican and Democratic ideas and together “push the good ideas forward” and “the bad ones aside.”