Cory Booker by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

The whole point of a presidential debate is to see who has the most gumption, best record, and sharpest mind. While it can be tedious, it does expose us to certain things that American people may find important. It’s an actual chance for candidates to expose each other’s records in a live setting without the safety of a controlled narrative.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, however, seemed taken aback that CNN would do something so heinous as making Democrats battle it out to see who is best qualified to lead the free world.

“The person that’s enjoying this debate most right now is Donald Trump, as we pit Democrats against each other while he is working right now to take away Americans’ health care,” Booker said.

Booker seems to be trying to go for the image of being the sensible one in the room, but it didn’t stop him from tearing into Biden with the rest of the 2020 pack, specifically on immigration. In the end, Booker is just as guilty of creating division amongst the Democrats as everyone else.

Trump’s Communications Director, Tim Murtaugh, couldn’t help but notice that too.

Booker has struggled to make a name for himself among the Democrats. While he’s highly recognizable, he’s not said or done anything memorable enough to bump his standing in any significant way. He’s constantly pronounced among the winners from debates but continues to put forth lackluster performances and forgettable quotes.

This line about debates making Democrats look like a house divided seem pretty whiney, however. The whole point of the debates is to stand out by being better than your opponent. If Booker is suggesting debates don’t happen and a different forum is crafted where Democrat candidates don’t argue with each other over how to lead the nation, then I’m curious as to how he suggests that happen.

The alternative is just narrative crafting with each Democrat giving a speech about a subject in turn on stage. If that’s the case, then we’re not going to learn much.

More importantly, if Booker is aiming for this kind of thing, then it doesn’t speak well to his willingness to be asked hard questions or come up against opposition. If he wants a kinder, gentler session then he’s not ready for the responsibility of leading the nation against other world powers who won’t be inclined to be gentle and fair.

He definitely won’t get kindness and gentleness from Trump.

In his efforts to look like the level-headed guy in the room, Booker just exposed his hand as a weak candidate.