WASHINGTON – If Twitter, a stripper and a vegan Portland strip club can’t spice up a Senate campaign, nothing will.
That new maxim of politics (which we hope catches on) was in evidence Thursday when reporters jammed a Cory Booker press conference in Newark, where he rolled out his economic reform policies. They weren’t there to hear about economics.
Instead, Booker answered questions about tweets to a stripper that were uncovered Wednesday by BuzzFeed. (If you’ve somehow missed this, the folks at Philly.com have it in all its glory, as does the Inquirer’s Dan Rubin in The Talk).
Booker, who is single, told reporters that he doesn’t study people’s profiles before interacting with them on the social media site. He follows nearly 76,000 people and has 1.4 million followers of his own.
“I don’t study people’s profiles,” Booker said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “It’s not something I pay attention to. But when somebody is kind to me, I often say thank you.”
(Of course, if Booker had checked her Twitter page, he would have found that it's, um, not G-rated).
He later said that “casting judgment on folks because of what they do is unacceptable to me.”
“I’m just not going to ask questions, ‘Is it politically not viable to speak to you.’ It’s just not the way I roll,” he said, according to the WSJ. “I am who I am and so far voters have really seemed to embrace that.”
The stripper, Lynsie Lee, told the Star-Ledger that "if I was an accountant, this never would have happened." She said their Tweets were "an innocent thing."
Returning to the campaign trail this week, Booker has been back to his headline-grabbing ways. He and Gov. Christie shared the spotlight at a high-profile Newark press conference Tuesday, the stripper story broke Wednesday and Friday he’ll host a Newark groundbreaking with Shaq, a Newark native.
In non-stripper news, the Inquirer’s Andrew Seidman talked with Booker Wednesday night in Cherry Hill about his campaign, tightening poll numbers and his divestment in Waywire, a controversial start-up tied to Silicon Valley moguls.
Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan is taking part in a 3:30 p.m. Web chat on the Star-Ledger’s Web site, NJ.com.
Lonegan’s campaign has declined to comment on the stripper story.