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Cory Booker's new agenda: selfies

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Senate,Rand Paul,Cory Booker,John Thune,Selfies,Angus King,Tammy Baldwin,John Boozman,Kevin Daley

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., has an ambitious agenda set for the remainder of the Senate session -- the freshman lawmaker intends to take a selfie with all 99 of his colleagues.

As of this writing, Booker has stood for selfies with Maine's Angus King, Nevada's Dean Heller, Arkansas's John Boozman, Oklahoma's Jim Inhofe, Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, Illionis's Dick Durbin, South Dakota's John Thune and Wyoming's Mike Enzi. Booker and Tea Party Republican Rand Paul also snapped a selfie at a Politico event on Wednesday, where the pair touted their joint work on sentencing reform, rendering them the Senate's favorite odd couple.

The designation was reinforced by a Twitter rant inspired by Seinfeld's fictitious holiday "Festivus," in which Paul complained Booker did not retweet him enough.

A Rhodes scholar with a J.D. from Yale Law School, Booker maintains an aggressive social media presence, posting regularly to accounts on Twitter and Instagram. His feed presents a tireless stream of optimism and constituent outreach. As mayor of Newark, N.J., Booker regularly took to Twitter to direct message constituents seeking social services from city government, often making his cell phone number available to followers. An analysis of his account conducted by Time found that Booker averages 22 tweets per day (not including retweets and replies) and that 36 percent of his tweets are replies to his followers. Time also noticed Booker has a propensity to tweet at odds hours of the day. An October 2013 tweet sent at 3:15 a.m. earned 250 retweets.

For Booker and other media-savvy politicians, Twitter has been a remarkably effective tool to connect with voters. The platform offers citizens unfiltered access to politicians, otherwise constrained by talking points, consultants and sound bites.

However, the access Twitter offers is not without dangers, as the Washington Examiner's T. Becket Adams demonstrated in a recent post.

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Kevin Daley

Special to the Examiner
The Washington Examiner

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