I’m only being a little cute with the headline. Booker’s a Stanford grad and a Rhodes Scholar and nearly got himself elected mayor of Newark at the tender age of 33. (He lost narrowly and then won in 2006 when he was 37.) Obama offered him a job in the White House in 2008, which he turned down, but he’s clearly eyeing bigger things. He’s already the most famously hands-on mayor in America: He went around the city shoveling snow during the blizzard of 2010, becoming an instant Twitter legend in the process by using it to communicate with locals who needed help, and after his first swearing-in he helped chase down a guy who was confronting a cop with a pair of scissors. Now this:

Newark Mayor Cory Booker was taken to a hospital Thursday night for treatment of smoke inhalation he suffered trying to rescue his next-door neighbors from their burning house…

Centanni said the mayor executed a professional rescue and possibly saved the life of one resident.

After being released from the hospital, Booker recounted his experience at the fire and said he thought he might have to jump out of a window because of the heavy flames.

“We got everybody out of the house, but their daughter’s screaming, ‘I’m upstairs!’ ” he told The Star-Ledger.

There’s good retail politicians and there’s great retail politicians, and then there’s this guy. The bad news? He’s a Democrat, so he’s a potential threat to Christie — but maybe not just yet. The good news? He’s an unorthodox Democrat in some important respects, so if we’re destined to lose some races in New Jersey, it’s a consolation that we could do worse than him. Here he is at this morning’s presser, banged up but now officially the star of his very own Twitter version of Chuck Norris Facts. Sounds like the rescue was a closer call than the early media reports suggested.