Michael Powell of the New York Times totally kicks butt in this scathing 2014 report on former Newark mayor Cory Booker, whom Powell comes just short of actually calling a circus barker. The short article is worth reading in its entirety but I especially loved these little treasures:
Cory A. Booker talks of his adopted city of Newark as if it were his very own Wild West … This makes for excellent commencement speech fodder … But a recent state audit underlines that the former mayor might have paid more attention to the prosaic business of running his city. Instead of shoveling driveways — he loved on snowy days to run about Newark with his shovel — he could have attended a meeting, just one, of his Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation.
It turns out this corporation, which the mayor championed and empowered, was pilfering from Newark.
…Mr. Booker is a splendid retailer of his narrative, but after a while there is a Barnum & Bailey quality to it. His maiden speech in the Senate went on for more than 30 minutes and ranged from the founding fathers to slavery to his own story to, oh yes, unemployment benefits, which was his ostensible point.
He talks, tweets and travels relentlessly. But what’s left behind is troubling. His former deputy mayor was convicted of extortion in 2011. The year before that, Mr. Booker laid off police officers. Arrests plummeted and, like a dying fire given oxygen, homicides flared.