Cory Booker Victorious! What Will New Jersey’s First Black Senator Do?
You know we had to report on this spectacular win!
As we speak, Newark Mayor Cory Booker is being swarmed with congratulatory tweets as he takes his seat as New Jersey’s first black Senator! He won the special election to fill the void left by Sen. Frank Lautenberg who died in June.
Booker, 44, bested Republican Steve Lonegan by more than 10 percent during a two-month race. But now that he’s donning such a prestigious political title, how will he live up to it? According to The Washington Post, Booker won’t cave in to the opposing side without a fight. “If I break dishes on the way to try to serve the people of New Jersey, so be it,” the paper writes.
Senator-elect Booker said he’d been told by naysayers that Congress’ web of complexities will be too difficult to handle. However, Booker adds, people have said the same about Newark — and he was able to make great strides during his tenure as Mayor of the troubled city. “I find it eerily familiar with what people are saying to me now, because it was said 15 years ago in Newark,” he said. “The problems are too big.”
A rep for Booker notes that he will grab Congress by the reigns despite its bullheaded reputation. “He’s going to be the kind of senator who’s going to gravitate toward the getting-things-done caucus,” said Booker spokesman Kevin Griffis. “He’s going to be someone who’s going to look to forge partnerships wherever he can to make progress for New Jersey families.”
However, NJ.com warns that it’s not as easy as it may seem. “He’ll likely find progress slow-going in the Senate, which puts more value on seniority and procedure than personal magnetism.” But unlike other fledgling members of the Senate, they’re not buddies with President Obama.
Still, adding to the headache, Booker is only serving 15 months of Lautenberg’s remaing term. To be re-elected to a full term, he will “have to start running for his 2014 re-election virtually the day he’s sworn in,” NJ.com adds.
But because of Booker’s large online presence (1.4 million Twitter followers) and notable efforts as mayor of Newark and his inclusive beliefs and policies, his future opponent will have an arduous campaign. Calling himself the “scrapper”, The Washington Post says he improved Newark by using “private fundraising, including a $100 million pledge from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, to run programs in Newark, a strategy that has brought him both fame and criticism.”
Booker hasn’t even settled comfortably as Senator yet and the hosts of Good Day New York already asked if he was considering presidency. “I would rule it out,” he replied. “I’m going into the Senate.”
For now, we hope Booker is just focused on being a new addition to Congress. As the government just opened its doors after a stalemate that lasted 16 days, turbulent times are ahead of him, his caucus, and the entire legislative arm. He will likely be sworn in as Senator within the next two weeks.
Congratulations Cory Booker!