If you have at all dipped your social media teacup into the political Twitter river, you will no doubt have happened upon several servings of Newark mayor Cory Booker’s near-obsessive interactions. I say “interactions” because unlike most tweeting pols, Booker not only makes 140-character statements and quips, but he reacts in real time to the concerns of his constituents. He replies to criticism, engages in discussion with folks who have questions, and even uses Twitter as a means to direct city resources where they are needed. (The best example of this may be during this year’s winter storms, when Newark residents would tweet about their various unplowed perils, to which Booker would reply with assurances that he had gotten the message and was sending help.)
But while he uses Twitter in a more practical way than almost any political figure, he also comes at with with a level of positivity that is almost unreal. Indeed, I have had to declare him a master of turning Twitter-lemons into lemonade after a recent exchange. Tweeted one James Devine (a self-described “American patriot,” just so you know), in part:
@CoryBooker has 1,093,986 [followers]… but Newark police cars do not have laptop computers What a TWIT!
Wow – not a fan, clearly! But 20 minutes later, Mayor Booker had his response.
1)We do 2)Thanx 4 ur concern bout r police RT @James_J_Devine Booker has 1Mill followers but Nwk police cars don’t have laptops What a TWIT!
You see that? He not only denied the charge, but rather than dance on the grave of Mr. Devine’s credibility, Booker turned Devine’s criticism into a positive. Thank you, you hyper-partisan hack, for caring about our police. And then he even retweeted the initial criticism instead of just replying!
It’s a small thing, but it’s emblematic of Booker’s entire M.O., his whole brand. Just think what a contrast that kind of practical positivity that is with, say, other major political figures in New Jersey, those who are not as well known for their patience with critics.