With visits this week by presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker and Marianne Williamson, Washington DC is beginning to feel like an early primary state. Of course, these candidates aren’t here for votes — DC is attractive for other reasons, like press coverage and fundraising.
Cockburn experienced the financial side of a political campaign when he stopped by Sen. Cory Booker’s fundraising event on Wednesday, aptly titled ‘Grassroots Happy Hour with Cory Booker in DC!’
How much does it cost to enjoy a pint with Cory Booker at Capitol Hill hangout, Hawk ‘N’ Dove? While the ticket prices are no longer available, the rates for Booker’s upcoming event in Oakland are informative: $15 for an ‘Early Bird’, $25 for plebeian ‘General Admission’, $50 for a ‘friend’ or ’supporter’, or $1,400 to be a ‘co-host’. Cockburn, for what it’s worth, paid $0 to attend Wednesday’s event as a ‘journalist’.
Inside the event, Cockburn took in the spooky Halloween décor and awaited Sen. Booker’s appearance. When the senator eventually arrived to the venue, he was greeted with applause from friends, supporters and general admittees, and quickly ascended to a restricted upstairs lounge, where Cockburn suspects the ‘co-hosts’ were gathered.
Shortly after, Booker joined the rest of the attendees and delivered an impassioned speech. Standing on a small stage in front of the bar’s kitchen, the candidate warned against political factionalism, arguing that ‘we are falling as a nation into deeper and deeper tribalism,’ as ‘folks tear this country apart.’
Sounding rather biblical, Booker noted, ‘we as Americans are called to go to the mountain-top,’ and ‘continue the traditions of the past.’
To reach this calling and confront our nation’s ills, Booker attempted to echo JFK: ‘if I am your president, I’m going to ask for more from you than any president has ever asked in your lifetime,’ adding that the ‘challenges we face are not going to be met by one person.’
Voicing a message of unity, and channeling his inner-Marianne Williamson, Booker said ‘it’s time for a new generation of dreamers’ to fulfill their aspirations ‘with the hardest, most difficult thing to back anything up with. And that’s love.’
For those feeling the love, the Eventbrite page for Wednesday’s event allows you to submit additional donations to the Booker campaign. And with a 2 percent polling average, Sen. Cory Booker needs all the love he can get.