Newark Mayor Cory Booker gained sudden national fame well beyond New Jersey Friday as word spread of his heroic rush into a burning building to rescue a neighbor.
While the news media cranked out stories, and Mayor Booker sought to downplay his exploits, the users of Twitter celebrated in their own characteristic way: milking the deed for all the tongue-in-cheek idolization possible. As unlikely as it sounds, the politician-as-superhero is now an Internet meme, thanks to Booker. Even during an election year.
For the record, Booker was returning to his home after a TV interview Thursday night when he and his security detail saw the neighbor's home ablaze. After they had helped some fleeing occupants, Booker rushed back in when he heard a woman still inside, screaming for help. He dragged her out of bed and helped to get her out of the building.
Here are some of the funnier, or wilder, things that people said on Twitter under the tag "#CoryBookerStories." OK, we can admit that some of these look suspiciously like recycled Chuck Norris jokes, and others reference Norris directly. But lots of Twitter readers and retweeters didn't seem to mind.
1. The secret military mastermind edition
@JimmyJoeHardy wrote: "Seal Team 6" was actually just the code word for Cory Booker.
2. The fix Facebook edition
@impactSP2walden wrote: If anyone can convince Mark Zuckerberg to get rid of timeline, it's @CoryBooker.
3. The better-than-Chuck-Norris edition
@MilesGrant wrote: When Chuck Norris has nightmares, Cory Booker turns on the light & sits with him until he falls back asleep.
4. The better-than-Chuck-Norris edition, runner up
@curtjazz wrote: Ghosts sit around the campfire and tell Cory Booker Stories
@jesseltaylor Cory Booker goes into Freddy Kreuger's dreams and fixes Elm Street's potholes.
5. The behind-this-week's-news edition
@_Thierry wrote: Who do you think made that North Korean rocket crash into the ocean? Exactly...
6. The disrespect-Fox-News edition
@dcGisenyi, borrowing from @ReignOfApril, wrote: "Black mayor physically forces woman to leave her home." #FoxNewHeadline
7. The "what'll he do next?" edition
@AntennaFarm wrote: Ok the fire rescue has been sorted. Think Cory could lend a hand to the music industry?
8. The reference-another-online-meme edition
@DearMitt wrote: Corey Booker ignores texts from Hillary Clinton.
9. The tax time edition
@calizephyr wrote: Cory Booker's Form 1040 lists humanity as a dependent.
10. The Hollywood edition
Amid all this, the mayor himself chimed in with a word of appreciation and caution. From @CoryBooker: Grateful to #CoryBookerStories 4 bringing smiles. Fire safety, however, is a serious matter.