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Cory Booker answers tough questions in Reddit AMA

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Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker, already a Twitter master, a burgeoning YouTube star, and a social networking entrepreneur, just added a new line to his impressive resumé: Redditor.

Booker, succumbing to pressure from Reddit users, held a question-and-answer session in Reddit’s r/IamA (“Ask me anything”) subreddit on Sunday. The highly lauded Democrat spent around five hours answering Reddit’s questions about everything from his political ambitions to the fact that he is a self-proclaimed science fiction fan.

But unlike a Barbara Walters interview, Reddit users didn’t hold back on the mayor. Many users quizzed him about his crackdown on guns that rewards people with $1,000 if they turn in illegal gun owners. A Reddit user called the program a “bounty,” to which Booker offered a measured response and props for not ignoring the issue.

The question-and-answer session hit Reddit’s front page on Sunday. For the most part, Reddit users seemed to enjoy the conversation and acted jovial toward Booker. Popular Reddit-based artist Shitty_Watercolour even submitted a painting of Booker answering questions, based on a tweet from Booker that confirmed the session was legit.

We contacted Booker to see what he thought about the experience, but haven’t received a response yet.

In the meantime, here are some of his best answers:

On why Booker is a vegetarian: In 1992, Booker experimented with becoming a vegetarian for three to six months and found it improved his athletic performance, so he stuck with it. “I felt so much better and it comported with other values and ideas I was exploring at the time, so I decided that this is what is best for me.” He added that he has one vice, though: Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

On what was going through his brain when he dashed into a burning building: After rescuing his neighbor from a burning building in April, Booker received international acclaim for conducting that act of heroism. He revealed that he was thinking about how to escape the building alive, but also added a few amusing thoughts too: “Other brilliant things that probably flashed through my big bald head: "Fire - hot"; "Can't believe I'm so out of shape climbing a flight of stairs"; And "I wish I was faster."

On how he views his heroic status: Rescuing someone from a burning building or shoveling your neighbor’s snow will earn you just a bit of goodwill. But Booker, being Booker, called the labels “flattering but overblown.” He said low-paying teachers working in difficult environments and our military are the real heroes.

“Please know, true heroism can not be judged in a single act, it is best seen by those persistent, stubborn, determined souls who day after day, away from cameras, press, or twitter, live their lives extending a remarkable level of rebellious love, relentless service, and defiant kindness. This is what I see in Newark.”

On where that money from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is: In 2010, Zuckerberg handed the public schools in Newark a hefty $100 million donation. But two years later, some people are skeptical of what’s happening with that money. Booker gave a very diplomatic answer but didn’t deliver any specifics about how the money is being spent.

“The majority of the money (by far I suspect) will go to traditional district schools - they serve the majority of our kids and our mission must be to serve EVERY child in Newark by creating a system that empowers our city's and nation's greatest natural resource: our kids.”

On who the bachelor Booker would marry: Ever since he watched Star Trek with his dad, he became hooked to sci-fi programs. He’s annoyed that SyFy’s Eureka was canned and called J.J. Abrams “one of God’s great gifts.” However, he has his heart set on one person: Lieutenant Uhura, a.k.a. Nichelle Nichols. Booker jokingly revealed that he would propose to her if she “would remove the restraining order and allow me to propose.”

Photo via Twitter