Newark Mayor Cory Booker has been tapped to serve as the co-chairman of the Democratic National Convention’s Platform Committee, a high-profile post for the rising Democratic star and one that comes even as Booker has butted heads with the Obama campaign this election season over whether Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital is fair game.
The Democratic National Committee and the Obama campaign announced the move in a joint release Thursday night. Co-chairing the panel with Booker will be Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy (Ret.). Kennedy, the first woman ever to reach the rank of three-star general, has been an outspoken opponent of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.
Both national parties must draft their platforms before their quadrennial conventions this summer. The process is typically a routine one in which platform committee members reaffirm their party’s principles, but occasionally sticky situations may arise on policy issues.
Democrats face one such quandary when it comes to whether or not to include same-sex marriage as a plank in the party platform. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters after Obama’s public embrace of same-sex marriage in May that he’s “sure it will be (included).”
The Democrats’ platform-drafting process will begin July 27-29, when the Platform Drafting Committee holds a public hearing in Minneapolis. That committee will be chaired by former Ohio governor Ted Strickland (D).
The full platform committee will then meet to vote on the party platform on Aug. 10-12 in Detroit.
In addition to Strickland, the platform-drafting committee will also include former congressman Tony Coelho (D-Calif.); Stanford Law professor Tino Cuellar; Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.); Donna Harris-Aikens, Education Policy and Practice Department at the National Education Association; Georgetown professor Colin Kahl; NARAL President Nancy Keenan; Native American Rights Fund staff attorney Heather Kendall Miller; AFL-CIO Policy Director Thea Lee; Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.); former FCC commissioner Susan Ness; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; New Organizing Institute Director of Special Projects Carlos Odio; former congressman Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Christen Linke Young, former Obama campaign associate policy director for health care.