By Natasha Brown
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–New Jersey Senator Cory Booker winds his way around the halls of the Senate buildings at a dizzying pace.
Just days into serving a term left vacant by the death of longtime New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, Booker has had to hit the ground running and he is not shying away from tackling one of the biggest issues on Capital Hill right now, the Affordable Care Act.
“The rollout has been horrible and it’s been disappointing and the President himself has said that. My job as a U.S. Senator is not to get involved in the politics but to work to find ways to fix it.”
Eyewitness News spoke exclusively to Senator Booker who allowed us to shadow him for a day in Washington.
Senator Booker says, ‘It’s exciting to come down here and see so many ways that you can fight for our state.”
The former Mayor of Newark has vowed to set aside partisan politics at a time when Washington is seemingly seeing unprecedented gridlock.
“I didn’t come down here to be a partisan, to just throw Molotov cocktails at the other side, I came down here to try to bring people together.”
He continues, “As a Democrat I’m very encouraged by the Republican response an already starting to create friendships on the other side of the aisle.”
Booker is finding ways to bring Washington back to New Jersey and on this day he announced $19 million in Sandy relief aid.
“A lot of the details down here may seem small in the span of the federal budget, but they can make a big difference for the roads in our communities, for the beaches in our communities, for the support for small business and job creation.”
And with 1.4 million Twitter followers, the Senator is an active tweeter embracing social media as a tool to reach New Jerseyans.
“Twitter is a powerful tool. What I love about it is tens of thousands of New Jerseyans who follow me on Twitter I can interact with them.”
Senator Booker has taken over former Senator Frank Lautenberg’s office–personalizing it a bit.
“There’s three things I brought with me, my statue of Harriet Tubman and this is a statue in Newark, it’s a seated Lincoln”
As the only the fourth popularly elected African American Senator, he understands the history surrounding these halls and is embracing the future.
“I’m charged up just like my early days as Mayor where if you hit the ground running, if you have a relentless work ethic, you can help people every day.”
After serving the rest of Lautenberg’s term, Senator Booker will have to seek re-election next November.