Booker emphasizes respect in leadership during address to grads

Booker emphasizes respect in leadership during address to grads
© Greg Nash

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death DHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility Democratic lawmakers call for an investigation into allegations of medical neglect at Georgia ICE facility MORE (D-N.J.) stressed the importance of respect for others during an address to graduates Saturday as lawmakers hit the speaking circuit for spring commencement ceremonies.

“True power has nothing to do with those heights of attainment that the external world puts value on,” Booker told graduates at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., Saturday morning. “Real power comes from within, from your character, from your heart.”

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The New Jersey Democrat and potential 2020 presidential candidate, during a speech stressing the important of everyday acts of kindness, said he learned power comes from character by observing the humility of Rep. John LewisJohn LewisDemocrats urge Biden to resist filibuster, court-packing calls Rep. Bill Pascrell named chair of House oversight panel The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden goes on offense MORE (D-Ga.).

Booker retold the story of how he met the civil rights icon before he was sworn in as senator in 2013, saying Lewis told him how meaningful it was for him to become the fourth-ever popularly elected African-American senator.

“He has been one of my greatest life professors,” Booker said of Lewis. “He treats everyone with the same kindness

“I see his power in redefining the ideals of patriotism, which is not something that is braggadocios, not just about symbols,” Booker said. “It is about love, patriotism is love of country and you cannot love your country unless you love your countrymen and women.”

From Lewis, Booker said he came to understand that “you can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people.”