Who is Cory Booker? This is a question many people are asking after the mayor of Newark, New Jersey saved his neighbor from his burning home. Late on Thursday night, Booker and his security detail went into his neighbor's home as flames began to bellow from the house. Booker heroically dashed into the house and saved the woman. As Booker told the Newark Star-Ledger, "I just grabbed her and whipped her out of the bed." And to his large hoard of Twitter followers, currently with more than 1.1 million (about 5 times the population of Newark), he simply stated, "Thanks 2 all who are concerned. Just suffering smoke inhalation. We got the woman out of the house. We are both off to hospital. I will b ok"
This rare act of heroism from a politician is a breath of fresh air for an occupation that is frequently mired by sex scandals and other corruption. In fact, Booker's three predecesors as Mayor of Newark all had run-ins with the law. But not Booker, the 42-year-old with degrees from Stanford, Oxford, and Yale, who has made appearances on everything from "Real Time with Bill Maher" to "The Colbert Report." Who can forget his famous feud with Conan O'Brien which put the Mayor on the national landscape.
But what does this mean for the profession of becoming a politician? People have always held a bit of contempt towards the profession, as corruption in politics is timeless. From the Ancient Greeks to Tom DeLay and thousands in between, countless politicians have succumbed to the misuse of the power bestowed upon them. Will Booker's actions change the idea that all politicians are awful people with a lack of good qualities? Probably not. Would you like to know another politician who saved a family from the brink of certain disaster? Mitt Romney. In 2003, Romney saved six people and the family dog as their boat was sinking.
Despite all of the good will andpraise being heaped upon Booker, there will be a myriad of political scandals between now and the end of the year. Less than 24 hours after the incident, Booker's name has already dropped off Twitter, replaced with not one, but two hashtags about Justin Beiber. As election season wears on and the attack ads get meaner and nastier, unfortunately few will look back to this incident and remember that not all politicians are evil.