Cory Booker (D-Twitter)
Every US Senator is on Twitter now, each with their own dreary snooze-fest of a feed. But not Cory Booker, who is likely to be the next Senator from New Jersey:
With nearly 30,000 tweets and 1.4 million followers under his belt, the Newark mayor already stands alone among high-level politicians in the scope and highly personalized style with which he uses the social medium.
On any given day, Booker’s constituents might use Twitter to enlist his help in getting a pothole filled or an abused dog rescued. And farther from home, his legions of supporters and admirers in the Garden State -- and nationwide -- might discover something new about the ambitious Democrat (including his enthusiasm for the late-’90s television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) or perhaps even get him to respond to a date request.
“Can't be your boyfriend but I hope to be your Senator,” Booker replied to one hopeful suitor last month.
The popular mayor often tweets dozens of times a day, mostly to communicate directly with his constituents as he responds to their questions and comments.
A little thing like this makes Booker an exciting candidate, and not just because of the (small) chance of a Twitter blow-up -- he's no Alec Baldwin.
One of the things that made Bill Clinton exciting is that he modernized the White House, bringing colorful Windows PCs right into the Oval Office. Contrast that with George HW Bush. One of his worst campaign spots from '92 tried to be all modern by focusing close on buzzwords displayed on an IBM DOS green screen circa 1982. Pathetic. Clinton was a Nineties guy, or at least knew how to project that image. The second President Bush carried an iPod, making him very much at home in the Naughts. President Obama carried a BlackBerry and so far as I know still does -- and the less said about that, the better.
But it's no longer about the devices on our desks or in our pockets. Now it's how we use them to communicate. Booker is very much a man of the Teens, and his Twitter feed shows that. Most importantly, his most engaged constituents get excited by that.
Or even non-constituents like me, half a continent away.