Cory Booker Adds Dog Rescue to Ever-Growing Résumé

America has learned an awful lot about social media-savvy Newark mayor Cory Booker over the past several months. For example, when much of the Eastern Seabord was wracked by Hurricane Sandy, Booker took to Twitter to directly address concerns of his constituents, and after one hungry Newark resident tweeted him about running out of Hot Pockets, Booker responded with words of inspiration and, as a result, the company offered coupons for free Hot Pockets to all residents. Later, we learned that he was planning to run for Senate in 2014, although Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg responded to his intentions with a little snark. 

And over the weekend, adding to the thing we already knew about Booker being really responsive when it comes to social media, we learned that he has a soft spot for our four-legged friends, especially those left out in the cold during wintry weather. When local broadcast news affiliate WABC tweeted to locals and specifically addressed Booker about dogs being left outside to freeze on a particularly cold night, Booker stepped in to bring one pooch, Cha Cha, who had recently had puppies (thankfully, not left in the cold), to warmth and safety while her owners were visiting friends in Queens. Naturally, our cynicismas media consumers and as people have kicked in and there are already some Cory Booker "truthers" declaring this a cheap press op (see the YouTube comments to the video below for proof).

But even if it was, what, do you want the dog to freeze? Come on, now. Anyway, Cory Booker rescued a dog, and got Newark Hot Pockets, and what have you done lately? Watch the broadcast—Booker, puppies and all—below.

Your Favorite Mayor Is Running for Senate

Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, and famous across the Internet for saving his constituents from fires, shoveling their sidewalks when it snows, and just generally being on the Internet at all, is ready to rise from the municipal level of governance. Only he didn’t exactly announce it yet.

Yes, the beloved Booker, a social-justice-minded Democrat, has filed the requisite FEC papers to run for the U.S. Senate. His website, “Cory Booker for Senate,” went up on Tuesday. Still, on a public level, he hasn’t done more than say he was open to the idea of running for the NJ seat currently occupied by Frank Lautenberg.

Oh, and that’s the best part! Lautenberg a fellow Democrat so old—88, to be precise—that the Secaucus train station is already named after him, hasn’t said whether he’ll run for reelection! Should we expect a bruising primary? Booker is like, bring it on: “Booker said that while he plans to give Lautenberg ‘the space’ to make his own decision, ‘he’s got a decision to make.’” Cold, bro. But I guess once you’ve conquered Twitter, the rest comes easy.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker Got You All Hot Pockets

Over the past two weeks, the whole country (or, at least, the part of the country that pays attention to things that are relevant) has kept an eye on the response to the destruction of Hurricane Sandy and the stupid, stupid Nor’easter that followed it. Our elected officials have been held under particular scrutiny for how they handled the storm; President Obama’s response secured an endorsement from New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and may have swayed a number of undecided voters in his reelection.

One politician whose response to the hurricane has been celebrated around the Internet is Newark mayor Cory Booker, who took to Twitter to respond directly to his constituents who were without power, dealing with flooding, and sometimes worse. He offered hurricane evacuees into his home. But it was one particular tweet that commanded more attention from non-New Jersey residents than most. When Newark resident Tyree Humes tweeted at Mayor Booker to let him know he was “running out of hotpockets,” Booker responded, “I believe in you. I know this is a problem you can handle.” Naturally, this went viral, because the Internet.

Well, the people at the Hot Pockets company saw an opportunity, and wrote a letter to the mayor which simultaneously feels a little icky and opportunistic and also well-intentioned and a “helping the only way we know how” kind of situation. An excerpt:

“We read the tweet between you and one of your constituents referencing the fact that he had run out of Hot Pockets sandwiches, and it made us think that we could do a little bit to help. Enclosed, please find coupons for free Hot Pockets that you can give out to people who stop by your home, or anyone else you feel could use them. We’re also sending some to Tyree Humes who sent you the tweet.

We realize that there is much work ahead to rebuild and move on, but we wanted to make this small gesture to help. We wish you, the people of Newark and all those affected by the storm the best of luck in recovery, rebuilding and returning to normalcy as soon as possibly.”   

Obviously, there are things the people of Newark, and much of the Eastern Seaboard at large, still need more than Hot Pockets. Some need toilet paper, gas or water. Some are still without electricity. But after an impossibly rough couple of weeks, sometimes it’s nice to not only know that an elected official is actually listening to and communicating with his constituents, but also to have just a totally weird chain reaction of events that will hopefully make someone, somewhere smile. And get a free Hot Pocket. In the meantime, you can help residents with the essentials via these wish lists created by Occupy Sandy, Matthew Titone and more. BlackBook and VIBE Media also have a Hurricane Sandy relief fund, which you can contribute to here

Your Daily Guide to Trending Topics

Every day there are some topics that are trending. Since many of them don’t make sense, we provide easy contextualization. Also, this way, you won’t actually have to know anything about anything.

Cory Booker
People are searching Google for information about Booker, the highly visible mayor of Newark, NJ and something of a political Next Big Thing, who dimmed his ascending star Sunday with an appearance on Meet the Press. Booker, a staunch Democrat, made comments about President Obama’s strategy of taking on Mitt Romney’s work a Bain Capital, seemingly equating it with the attacks on Obama (especially those care of billionaire Joe Ricketts). “I have to just say, from a very personal level, I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity,” Booker said. “To me, it’s just we’re getting to a ridiculous point in America, especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses. And this to me, I’m very uncomfortable with.” Nice knowing you, Cory!

Billboard Music Awards
It’s not the Grammys, it’s not the VMAs, it’s not even the American Music Awards, this one—which aired last night and is topping Google Trends—is presented by Billboard, the folks who actually keep track of how well music sells. Crazy, right? Hosted by Julie Bowen and Ty Burell, the evening reportedly featured an underwear-clad performance from LMAFO, Katy Perry attending with her grandmother as her date, Jordin Sparks and John Legend did a tribute to Whitney Houston and the late Houston’ daughter, Bobbi Kristina, accepted an award on her behalf. What people are looking for are, of course, mostly videos. So check the best part of the night out below.

Emily Maynard
Why, Yahoo! users, why? The most-searched term on your favorite site this morning is “Emily Maynard,” as in the jilted former contestant on The Bachelor, who is now returning to TV in The Bachelorette to give finding love on camera another show. “I had a million reservations about being the Bachelorette,” she said in a recent interview before going on to explain why she would do something like this to herself (and her six-year-old daughter). “You know, they had asked me to do it previously and I said no to anyone who would listen. I told everybody I would never do it – never in a million years.”

Dharun Ravi
Another hot Yahoo! topic is Mr. Ravi, the former roommate of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi. Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after discovering that Ravi was spying on him during intimate moments via webcam. In March, Ravi was convicted on counts of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, witness tampering, hindering apprehension and tampering with evidence. Ravis’ sentencing will happen today. He faces up to 10 years in prison and possible deportation to his native India.

Nothing too serious is happening over at Twitter. There are your normal #MondayMorning trends and also this, a list of things that the video game Grand Theft Auto has taught its users.