Cory Booker just announced that he will not be running for governor of New Jersey in 2013, and instead will look to run for the U.S. Senate in 2014 (and I don’t think we yet know if he’s spoken to Sen. Launtenberg, as he definitely hasn’t said he’s going to retire). I actually think this is a wise move: He avoids a bruising and likely losing battle with a popular and nationally-famous incumbent, and he avoids having to attack the jugular of a governor with whom he works well and considers a friend.
But that’s not why I’m writing about his announcement.
In Booker’s video in which he declares his intentions (and, in case you miss it, says he loves Newark a lot), you can see a stack of books to his right, and a globe to his left. And what are those books might you ask?
From top to bottom they are:
- a plain old Bible
- a Bhagavad Gita (a sacred Hindu text)
- a Life of the Spirit Study Bible
- a Qu’ran
- and a Tanach, the Hebew Bible.
Now, I get it. I really like Cory Booker, he’s a good egg (as well as being a superhero and Twitter-master), but this is trademark Booker Schtick, and it works for him: I’m the guy who brings everyone together to do Great Things. So why not have books representing the big religions (with Christianity represented twice, because, come on, that’s the true one) next to Mr. Mayor as he informs us of his next moves.
(But come on, no secular books? A seminal science text, some philosophy? Anything? A bone, please, Mr. Mayor?)
But there’s also a touch of something slightly messianic, no? It almost reads to me as, hey folks, I’m The One who can unite us all, combining all the powers of these religious traditions, making me the, well, savior of this world, represented here to my left.
Or, it does to me, at least.