DERRY, N.H. — Say a presidential candidate — a well-liked, barrier-breaking statewide elected official from the Northeast — whose campaign is premised on hope and conciliation, is suddenly joined in the race by a well-liked, barrier-breaking former statewide elected official, whose new campaign is premised on hope and conciliation.
Would that first candidate be a little angry?
The Boston Globe asked Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey about the entrance into the presidential race of former governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. The interview took place Friday aboard Booker’s campaign bus.
BOSTON GLOBE: I think that I get the premise of the campaign. You have someone highly educated, very energetic, inspiring on the stump, has some executive experience, with a beautiful, bald head —
CORY BOOKER: Thank you for finally stating the truth!
GLOBE: Oh, well I am talking about Deval Patrick.
BOOKER: [Laughter] Touché! Touché! Another reporter did that to me, like a mayor, Rhodes Scholar, and thank you, thank you. “Oh no, I am talking about Mayor Pete.’’
GLOBE: I remember that story and loved the lead. What do you make of Patrick getting into the race? What was your reaction when you first heard his surprise announcement?
BOOKER: This is America and I love my country and this is a competitive primary where people have every right to jump into the race. I don’t focus on it. I just focus on the work that I have to do in order to be successful. We’ve been working at this now since February 1st and I am proud what I am proud of what we have built here in New Hampshire.
GLOBE: But aren’t you like, “Come on man, I am literally doing this! [Booker laughter] Like seriously, how arrogant that you think you can do it better? I am out here on the hustings for months actually working it.”
BOOKER: But you could say that about every candidate, “Oh, come on,” you know every candidate can say that about every other candidate.
GLOBE: Fine, but I hear him and I think I am quoting Cory Booker.
BOOKER: [Laughter]. Many reporters have now pointed that out to us, that it is eerie, but what he is saying is resonant of what we’re saying but again —
GLOBE: Specifically, there are the “communities unseen and unheard,” the whole thing.
BOOKER: Yes, yes. But the reality is that I am running my race; and I believe in our campaign; more elected leaders in this state believe in our campaign than any other; and we are gearing up to win; and we have hundreds of thousands of Americans who are supporting us from online contributions to volunteering for our campaign.
We’ve spent the last, you know, 10 months going from county to county and closing in on 50 to 100 events, thousands of people. I am just excited about our prospects in the state. And I am not looking at who is in the lane to the left of me or the right of me. I am running my race.
GLOBE: To that point about all the time and work you have put in: Is it too late for Deval Patrick?
BOOKER: I think that folks are going to make their decision. None of us candidates should be pundits about what another candidate’s chances are.
James Pindell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell or subscribe to his Ground Game newsletter on politics:http://pages.email.bostonglobe.com/GroundGameSignUp