Late last night, pollster and Steve Lonegan strategist Rick Shaftan tweeted the New York Times coverage of Cory Booker’s Twitter conversations with a Portland stripper, with the question:
The next @AnthonyWeiner?
He wishes. I do think the story of a Twitter correspondence between the likely next U.S. Senator from New Jersey and a stripper at a vegan strip joint (first in USA) in Portland, Oregon is a story. But it’s a human interest story, not a scandal. Booker isn’t married, isn’t to my knowledge sending crotch pictures through the air or cringeworthy descriptions of anything. At best, he was flirting. She’s a person who’s as much a Twitter standout in her world as Booker is in his; enough that a documentary featured both of them.
But the reason the interest in this today interests me is that nearly the entire press coverage has missed the point. This guy Arthur, who tweets as @pelirrojo79 (replying to Slate’s @daveweigel) said the very smartest thing I’ve read about this all damn day:
@daveweigel I read this “scandal” as “Unmarried Cory Booker talks to stripper and treats her like a person”
Dead on. If you’re electing a U.S. senator, do you want the guy who thinks he’s superior to people? (don’t forget he tried to get you to disapprove of Cory Booker if Booker’s gay). Or do you want the guy who’s nice to all kinds of people?
Big deal. After all, whoever we send to the Senate October 16th will have to represent all New Jersey’s people. And that’s going to include Jersey Girl strippers with tattoos. Vegans, even. All of us. And I don’t think Steve Lonegan can handle that.
Bonuses below the fold: Portlandia clip on Casa Diablo, Portland’s now-famous vegan strip club. And New York Magazine’s link: What is a Vegan Strip Club Anyway?