Before it got swapped last minute with an item about Howard Stern's new gig on America's Got Talent, I was going to kick off my weekly quips with Randi Kaye on CNN this last Saturday by riffing about that viral video starring Jersey Governor Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Writers and comedians hate for a good line to go to waste. So if material gets cut, as often happens, from the intended forum for which it was generated, we make it a point to channel our precious gems, or zirconian gravel as the case may be, to some other platform. Sometimes you have to settle for ambushing an unsuspecting victim in the elevator with your unsolicited observations. Luckily, I get to recycle my stuff right here on Huffpo, all in the name of sustainable humor.
If you haven't seen the Christie-Booker bipartisan joint, called, "Don't Worry, We've Got This," check it out on Youtube. But skip right to 2:30 when it's Booker to the rescue, as he appears from nowhere to change a tire on Christie's stranded SUV. Booker's legendary heroics and do-gooder deeds are further lampooned as he is shown arriving backstage at a Springsteen concert in the nick of time with an emergency replacement guitar for The Boss. And then, with Booker swooping in to catch a baby that has fallen off a balcony, upstaging the buffoonishly oblivious Christie, yet again. Booker, kneeling and Tebowing with the baby, after making the catch, is a hilarious touch.
Turns out, in real life, Booker actually rescued someone from a burning building recently. And he once showed up himself to shovel snow from a driveway, after receiving a tweet from a resident that her 65-year-old father was snowed in. I really didn't know this or anything about Booker till this video piqued my interest (i.e. got me to wiki him) to find out more. Amazing dude, all around. The hero stuff is just icing on the cake.
Speaking of cake, can you imagine Christie pulling any of those real-life Booker stunts? Surely shoveling snow is out of the question, as it would be a violation of doctor's orders. And if you're trapped in a burning building and waiting for Christie to come in and save you, that's not going to be a happy ending. I'm just saying.
Not only that, Booker was a Rhodes Scholar, got his law degree from Yale, and before that went to Stanford, where he distinguished himself as a varsity football player. And get this. Under his leadership as Mayor, Newark experienced its first murder-free month in 44 years. Personally, I'd like to see that adopted at the federal level. Maybe we could designate January as National Murder Free Month to kick off the year with some good will.
At the end of the video with Christie, Booker is seen on the phone, turning down an offer from Romney himself to be his veep candidate. Booker declines, saying he's not a number two guy, not a backup singer, not a second banana.
Of course not! He's obviously messaging that he wants to be the number one guy and is positioning himself to run for president. In our Youtube age, this video could be more effective than a prime time national convention speech at putting him in the running within the Democratic Party for the top dog slot. Moreover, as both his parents are black, he could actually win and claim to be the truly first black President of the United States.
I don't know what the intent of video was originally. The last line is delivered by Christie, who grabs the phone from Booker and says, "I got this." Opinion from people who have no clue is evenly split between those who swear it means Christie desperately wants to run with Romney, and those who swear it means he'd rather have his own sitcom. It's another electoral season rorschach test.
But I tell you what. The video totally works as Democratic propaganda for keeping the White House black in 2016. If I were the Republicans I'd be worried about the Mayor of Newark, because he is impressive. If Booker can come up with a birth certificate, it's over. He may be the personification of the GOP's deepest, darkest, "once you go black, you never go back" nightmares.
Bill Santiago's popcultural punditry focuses on Howard Stern instead of Cory Booker, after a last-minute switch in talking points.