Booker Sworn In As Senator [AUDIO]
Vice President Joe Biden has sworn in Cory Booker as New Jersey’s newest U.S. Senator .
Booker and Biden exchanged hugs as Booker acknowledged the applause of friends and family members seated in the visitor’s gallery that rings the chamber after taking the oath of office.
In a tweet, Booker said he used the same Bible given to him by his mother and family for his swearing in as mayor of Newark in 2006.
“We’re going to find Cory Booker is going to be a great asset to this nation and the Senate,” says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev according to USA Today. “We’re very fortunate to have this good man in the Senate. He’ll serve his state and our nation with distinction.”
Minutes after being sworn in, he participated in his first roll call vote, supporting an attempt by Democrats to advance the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C. to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Booker also was to meet later in the day with President Barack Obama at the White House.
A Short Term
If Booker wants a full six-year term, he’ll have to run again next November. Critics think he could be vulnerable because some view his campaign against Steve Lonegan as subpar at best.
“The Booker national fame has been used in a certain sense as a negative by his opponents who call him a ‘Hollywood Guy,’ but we’ll have to see what kind of a senator he’ll be,” said Mickey Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University poll. “Will he be a team player and worker?”
Booker’s Hollywood connections, his million-plus Twitter followers, his Oprah appearances and his prolific fundraising helped get him elected. He’ll need those tools again if he wants to be re-elected next year, according to Carroll, who also said the former Newark mayor isn’t the first celebrity New Jersey has sent to Washington.
“The one in New Jersey that you look back to is Bill Bradley,” said Carroll. “Bill Bradley was the last celebrity that New Jersey elected, and he didn’t go to Washington and act like a celebrity. He went to Washington and worked. Bradley was very definitely a work horse and we’ll have to see if Booker will be.”
During the campaign, Lonegan often referred to himself as a ‘work horse’ and criticized Booker, calling him a ‘show horse.’
“Certainly the national attention and the national celebrity status has helped him (Booker), has made him a known figure,” said Carroll. “We’ll have to see what he does as a Washington figure. He’d be crazy if he gave up the national celebrity, but will he pitch in and work in the Senate? We’ll have to see.”