New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker still won’t say if he plans to run for president in 2020, but his comments during a recent talk with Glamour show he’s still got a lot to learn about national politics.
“Sometimes doing what’s right is not always going to be popular,” Booker told about 300 students at Glamour’s recent back-to-school rally for girls.
“That’s why I get back to life is about purpose, not popularity. It’s about significance, not celebrity,” he said, sidestepping a student’s question about 2020. “So I just want to be someone who stays authentically myself, and if that means to run in a primary in Iowa I can’t talk about the problems with industrial animal agriculture, and that might zero out my chances of winning votes if I’m talking about … things like that, so be it and I miss that opportunity.”
The comments revealed little about his future aspirations, but made it clear Booker may not be ready for prime time.
The Iowa caucuses, the first major electoral event in the nominating process for President of the United States, are not a primary, and the state doesn’t select nominees by popular vote.
Wikipedia explains the complicated caucus process used by Iowa Democrats:
Each precinct divides its delegate seats among the candidates in proportion to caucus goers’ votes. Participants indicate their support for a particular candidate by standing in a designated area of the caucus site (forming a preference group). An area may also be designated for undecided participants. Then, for roughly 30 minutes, participants try to convince their neighbors to support their candidates. Each preference group might informally deputize a few members to recruit supporters from the other groups and, in particular, from among those undecided. Undecided participants might visit each preference group to ask its members about their candidate.
After 30 minutes, the electioneering is temporarily halted and the supporters for each candidate are counted. At this point, the caucus officials determine which candidates are viable. Depending on the number of county delegates to be elected, the viability threshold is 15% of attendees. For a candidate to receive any delegates from a particular precinct, he or she must have the support of at least the percentage of participants required by the viability threshold. Once viability is determined, participants have roughly another 30 minutes to realign: the supporters of inviable candidates may find a viable candidate to support, join together with supporters of another inviable candidate to secure a delegate for one of the two, or choose to abstain. This realignment is a crucial distinction of caucuses in that (unlike a primary) being a voter’s second candidate of choice can help a candidate.
When the voting is closed, a final head count is conducted, and each precinct apportions delegates to the county convention. These numbers are reported to the state party, which counts the total number of delegates for each candidate and reports the results to the media.