Booker goes to Washington a celebrity, senator

     Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., asks questions during his first committee hearing since being sworn in last week. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo, file)

    Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., asks questions during his first committee hearing since being sworn in last week. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo, file)

    During his first week as a U.S. senator, Cory Booker has balanced learning his new job and standing out from his 99 colleagues. The former Newark mayor came in as the rare freshman senator with celebrity status.

    But he’s mostly stayed out of the spotlight in Washington. Known for his soaring oratory, he has spent most of his time listening and asking questions instead.

    He has immersed himself in Senate rules and procedures and attended multitudes of meetings. He’s been working out at the Senate gym as a way to meet colleagues.

    But he’s also digging in, grilling officials during a hearing on Superstorm Sandy and voting for a bill that banned discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

    And he has been to the White House — twice.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.