Why Cory Booker is set to become the highest-profile Democratic senator

“I don’t want to just go down there and become a part of the system. I want to change it and create change for real people,” Booker told NBC News on Monday. “There’s in some ways a lack of imagination on a lot of people’s parts.”

That sure doesn’t sound like someone who wants to be a wallflower. And nothing in Booker’s career suggests he would be a quiet presence in the Senate. As mayor, he has already become a national figure, regularly appearing on Sunday shows and other network news programs. He has more than 1.4 million followers on Twitter, which he uses actively. And Booker comes from a state where he can cut a liberal Senate profile without having to worry about it hurting him back home.

Booker would also be the only black Democrat in the Senate. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is currently the only black senator.

“Booker has three key attributes,” e-mailed one Democratic strategist who closely follows New Jersey politics. “One: The ability to communicate above the normal channels. It’s remarkable that the national news is issuing breaking news alerts that he won a primary. … 2. He has a donor base that is very, very deep at both the high dollar and low dollar end of the spectrum. 3. He is non-toxic for D’s and R’s.”