1. He was a badass at Stanford.
Aside from being an awesome student and varsity football player, he also ran a crisis hotline, had a smorgasbord of prestigious honors and positions, and was besties with Rachel Maddow. Yes, Rachel “ambassador of the adorable politician hair” Maddow. Can you imagine how incredible of a team they would have been? In my headcanon, they walked around with matching Chuck Taylors and plastic-rimmed glasses, hi-fiving over esoteric political stuff and taking turns being right about everything. (Also, he’s a Rhodes Scholar. Yeah, I know, it’s not fair that one person’s academic life can be this impressive.)
2. He’s basically the best mayor ever.
So basically he took Newark from being the cautionary tale that people would refer to disdainfully to leading the country in reductions of crime rates. I’m fairly convinced that, aside from his smart policies and hands-on leadership (he keeps open office hours and used to patrol the streets at night with his security team), he just has a bag of fairy dust that he keeps in his back pocket and sprinkles over things to make them magically prosper and improve. It’s undeniable that he has taken so much of the city back and kept the promises he made, often at personal sacrifice. Coming from a city myself where the mayor alternates between shockingly inept and relentlessly self-serving, it truly is what can keep up striving to find better politicians.
3. He turned down a job offer from Obama to be loyal to Newark.
He was offered a position in the White House in Urban Affairs, and he declined, as he was committed to improving his city and sticking with it. Can we just all bake him a giant cupcake and send it to him, please?
4. He’s always the epitome of charming.
I don’t know if you watch a lot of political talk shows, but Cory Booker should definitely take home the little plastic trophy for “Least Insufferable Guest Ever.” The majority of people who go on those shows seem like they’ve been injected with a few tired talking points by faceless PR people moments before hitting the stage, and will self-destruct if they deviate from the script. Mr. Booker always seems earnest, sincere, thoughtful, and honest. He is, in a word, charming. He charms because you sense that he actually believes what he’s saying, and it’s not about being self-aggrandizing or just hearing himself speak. He’s one of the rare politicians that you feel you can believe in.
5. He’s a Christian, but he doesn’t put his beliefs into law.
Mr. Booker is a devout Christian who is an avid proponent of gay marriage, and firmly believes that religion has no place in the law. Again, we have to get on this cupcake thing.
6. He is dreamy.
Let’s be real here, before Gavin Newsom became Lieutenant Governor, he and Cory Booker were on the verge of having to have a Hunger Games-style battle to decide once and for all who was the dreamiest mayor in the land. Now that Newsom is out of that league, I think it’s safe to say there is no one whom you could picture riding up to a political event on a unicorn quite like Cory Booker. Also, his voice just basically makes you want to believe in magic again.
7. He has a sense of humor.
If Mr. Booker’s “feud” with Conan O’Brien taught us anything, it’s how wonderful and refreshing it is to have a politician who can laugh at himself and not take things so seriously. Obviously Newark has been the butt of many jokes throughout the years, but besides actually working to change and improve his city in tangible ways, Mr. Booker also understands that bringing the kind of publicity the Conan incident could bring is also important to restoring a city’s image. Aside from ending up with huge donations to the city from NBC and Conan himself, the “feud” showed Mr. Booker to be the kind of person a city like Newark needs, someone who is intelligent — and down-to-earth — enough to take a joke in stride.
8. Mark Zuckerberg gave him 100 million dollars.
Well, he gave it to the Newark school system, but I’m pretty sure Mr. Booker must know where all of the money is. I would like some of this money, please. Could someone get me in touch with Mark Zuckerberg? I’ve got…important projects that need funding. Help me out, Corcor. I