Booker considers run for higher office
Newark Mayor rumored for Senate, Gubernatorial run
Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker did not deny his interest in seeking higher political office in an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" Friday, when he also spoke about living for a week on food stamps.
"It's a little more difficult than I imagined," said Booker, a Democrat. "I thought it would be good on eating on a tight budget, so I started out not really marshalling my food well, so I'm really cutting back now."
Booker said he resolved to spend a week eating only what he could afford on credits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program after an online conversation "with a woman who was pooh-poohing government's role in providing nutrition for kids" went viral.
He described his week, which concludes this weekend, as an effort to raise awareness about "food insecurity," obesity and other food-related issues.
Among the most challenging aspects, he said, was giving up caffeine.
"Going out and getting a cup of coffee at Starbucks will wipe out your entire allowance for a day, and for a guy who was admittedly caffeine-addicted, I am now going through a bit of a withdrawal," he told CNN's Piers Morgan.
"This is one thing, the challenges for me right now, complaining about the headache and caffeine withdrawal -- I'm off this in a week," he added. But, he continued, there are working families who rely on SNAP and similar programs.
Booker made no announcements about his own political future, which is expected to involve a bid for another office.
"My focus right now is trying to figure out what that next step will be that's in accordance with my values. Life is about purpose, not position, and my value is I want to find whatever I can do to best make a contribution to the people in the city I love and that state I love," he said when asked if he is interested in running for the U.S. Senate, possibly in 2014 when Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg's fifth term is up.
A more immediate opportunity would be challenging New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who has seen strong poll numbers due to his handling of the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
"I'm not even going to give you the denial," he said about challenging Christie. "I'm simply saying that this is one of the most important races in the country."
He said Christie's kind words for President Barack Obama after the storm are an example of "the way government should work."
"Governor Christie and President Obama showed the right spirit during one of the worst natural disasters to hit in my lifetime in my state," he said.
And will there be a Booker for President campaign anytime soon?
"President of the New Jersey Star Trek Association?" Booker replied. As for the Oval Office, "that is not even in the realm of consideration right now."
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