Thingish Things

Cory Booker 2012? ’14?

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jun• 08•11

To say “keep an eye out for Corey Booker” is like saying keep an eye out for the Yankees in the playoffs this year.  An idiot could tell you that. But keep an eye out for Corey Booker (D).

The Newark Star Ledger today reports that the dynamic Newark reform-oriented mayor may be eying a run for the U.S. Senate either in 2012 or in 2014 when Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) is likely to retire again.  He’d make a terrific candidate.

I got to see Booker in action a couple of years back at a news conference I helped arrange. I had obviously heard a lot about the young talent, so I was eager to eyeball him up close. He did not disappoint.  Two things about him off the bat:  There is an unmistakable celebrity air about him — he is tall, handsome, and self-assured — but one also gets the feeling that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He is nice — and a talented speaker.

But here’s the thing that got me:  During the news conference, held in the Newark City Hall rotunda, the sound system shorted out.  It happens sometimes, and typically the principle speaker makes a funny remark and steps back until audio visual personnel comes and fixes it. Not Booker. He decided to fix the thing himself — right there on the spot — with a half dozen television cameras rolling and with a roomful of print reporters taking notes. There was no showboating to it whatsoever; he just instinctively went to fix it.

As a press person, I cringed. Here is a mayor, on camera, begging to be made to look stupid.  Clips last a political lifetime and I thought, “he’s green; he doesn’t know yet…”  I could barely stand to watch.

Booker went down to his knees and began fiddling with wires and turning knobs on an amplification mult box, with his AV team watching over his shoulder.  Silence in the room. And then, as quickly as the audio went out, it was back on — Booker had fixed it — and he went right back to the point he had been making before the thing had shorted out, without missing a beat.  There wasn’t a trace of cockiness about him. Not a trace.

Booker reminded of me of the college quarterback who might say “give me the ball” without a hint of arrogance.  There is something about those guys, and Booker is one of them. I wish he was on my team.



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  1. Me says:

    His ongoing feud with Conan O’Brien was absolutely hilarious. I should note that his mother prefers that his name be spelled “Cory.”

  2. Your Friend says:

    What an awesome piece. I love this guy. I saw him speak once myself. It appeared to me as though he simply stood at the mic and talked off the cuff for 30-40 minutes. I’m certain there was great effort and preparation that went into making it look that way, but it was a great speech either way. I think he would make a fine Senator for the great state of New Jersey.

  3. […] the record, this blog has long been a fan of Corey […]

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