By
hardball
updated 1/25/2013 6:49:28 PM ET 2013-01-25T23:49:28

The Newark mayor is once again being likened to a superhero, this time after rescuing a dog left outside in the cold. But are his Twitter save-the-day episodes starting to come across as gimmicky?

It’s Cory Booker to the rescue…again.

The Newark mayor is once again being likened to a superhero, this time after rescuing a dog left outside in the cold.

It all started on Thursday when a local ABC reporter tweeted at the social-media savvy pol about the pooch.

Shortly afterwards, the Democrat was on the scene, petting the pup and even picking her up and placing her in a car to keep warm.

“This dog is shaking really bad,” Booker told a camera. “You just can’t leave your dogs out on a day like this and go away.” Booker then found the dog owner’s cell phone number and left a message (the owner of Cha-Cha said he accidentally let the dog out).

Of course this isn’t the first time Booker—who recently announced his intentions to run for the Senate seat that longtime lawmaker Frank Lautenberg holds—has come to the rescue (and tweeted about it for all his 1.3 million plus followers to see!)

In 2010, Booker took requests and personally helped dig out snowed-in residents needing to get out of their driveways. Then there’s the time he rescued his next-door neighbors from their burning house (and suffered smoke inhalation because of it.)

Of course, not everyone’s a fan. During the snow storm, local law enforcement officials and city leaders faulted Booker for the city’s response to the storm. One city councilman told the Star-Ledger at the time that instead of tweeting “the mayor needs to be in a war room executing a cleanup plan.”

Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist, told MSNBC.com, that there’s “certainly a gimmicky aspect” to Booker’s save-the-day episodes. “He has a nose for the spotlight. He’s a media hound and he knows how to build his brand.”

O’Connell warned that doing it too many times could come back to haunt Booker. “If the stakes get bigger, he’s going to get called on it. But right now it’s working.”

Democratic strategist, Maria Cardona, told MSNBC.com that “this is the kind of thing where if you’re a Cory Booker fan, this is just going to add to the reasons why you like him. If you’re already prone to thinking this guy wants headlines, this will just add to that as well.”

Lautenberg, not surprisingly, isn’t pleased with Booker. The Democrat, who is 89, hasn’t indicated whether or not he’ll run again in 2014. He told the National Journalthat Newark is “in desperate need of attention,” adding “maybe if the mayor can solidify the fact that he wants to improve Newark by being there, things would be different.”

The Star-Ledger also pointed out that between January 2011 and June 2012, Booker was out of town for nearly 25% of the time, suggesting that he’s not really invested in the day-to-day grind of solving Newark’s many problems.

Lautenberg also suggested the popular mayor, whose policies are not dissimilar to his–was acting like a child who needed to be spanked.

“I have four children. I love each one of them,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer, his first public statements after Booker announced he would run. “I can’t tell you that one of them wasn’t occasionally disrespectful so I gave them a spanking and everything was okay.”

O’Connell said Lautenberg’s remarks, however, indicated that the politician is “scared.”

“Cory Booker could be the future of the Democratic party if he plays his cards right,” he said.

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