Newark Mayor Cory Booker saved the life of a 93-year-old nun who fell down a well today.
In a message to his Tumblr followers, the candidate for New Jersey's open U.S. senate seat says he was returning home from a fundraiser in Saddle River, N.J., when he saw the nun fall.
"I was in the back seat of my American-made hybrid car personally texting several injured veterans, letting them know how much I care about them," he explained, "then suddenly I happened to look up and I saw this lovely older woman fall down an open well.
"Everyone else in the vehicle said I was probably just seeing things. But I decided we needed to go investigate. And sure enough, when we arrived at the scene we saw a nun at the bottom screaming for help.
"Now my aides suggested we wait for police to arrive. But I knew time was of the essence. I used the mountain climbing gear I always keep in my trunk to rappel down the well and rescue our beloved citizen. I tied her to my waist with an American flag, and we rappelled back up together.
"A lot of people say I'm a hero. But I reject that label. The real heroes are the average middle-class people out there saving for retirement, building our economy and working hard to put their kids through college."
Booker has been involved in Newark politics since 1998 and has served as mayor of the struggling city since 2006. Despite only being a municipal official from the nation's 67th largest city, Booker has managed to attract a national profile by exploiting the fact that most cable news programs are shot within an hour's drive of his home.
He is now trying to cash in on that notoriety as he hopes to succeed Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died last week, to the U.S. Senate in a special election scheduled for Oct. 16. His latest tale of heroism is expected to help his odds.
The nun, Sister Mary Catherine Fitzpatrick of Elmwood Park, says she was on her way to deliver homemade pies to sick children when the unthinkable happened.
"I just didn't see it coming," she explains in an exclusive interview. "Its walls were so low, and I just walked right in. There are so many wells in urban New Jersey I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often. I'm so grateful that young politician was there to help."
Despite her gratitude, however, Sister Fitzpatrick says she won't be voting for Booker in this fall's special election.
"He'd make an excellent first responder," she explains, "but when it comes to politics Cory Booker is just a combination of vapid self-promotion and false modesty. An empty suit full of hype and political stuntmanship.
"He never talks about issues, only vague poll-tested catchphrases. His only ideas are stuff like we should help the poor or embrace technology - things no one disagrees with. He has no courage, no direction. He's all ambition and no substance. Reminds me of a young John Edwards."
A spokesperson for Booker denied Sister Fitzpatrick's characterization, and pointed out that aside from saving people like a comic book hero Booker is also penning a detailed plan to "restore hope in America's future" by returning to the "values that make us great."