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Newark Mayor Cory Booker Thinks 'Lincoln' Should Win Every Oscar

Cory Booker
Getty Images

The New Jersey Democrat joins the chorus in Washington who are praising Steven Spielberg's historical drama.

Like his fellow politicians in Washington, Cory Booker -- the tireless, pop culture-loving mayor of Newark, N.J. -- is throwing support behind Steven Spielberg's Lincoln.

"I have seen Lincoln and I want it see it again," Booker tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I think it should win Best Film and I think it should get Best Actor."

Of Daniel Day-Lewis' acclaimed turn as Honest Abe, Booker says: "He disappeared. I didn't see Daniel Day-Lewis. To me, it wasn't Daniel Day-Lewis. It was Lincoln!"

On Thursday, THR exclusively reported that two Senate rivals -- Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. -- sent out a joint invitation to all their colleagues and their spouses to attend a special Lincoln screening on Dec. 19. 

"We believe that viewing this film would provide all senators with a positive opportunity to gather and reflect during this holiday season," they wrote in a letter of the movie, in which Lincoln is shown effectively uniting Congress to pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.

STORY: Rival Politicians Team for 'Lincoln' Screening

After the film, Spielberg, Day-Lewis, screenwriter Tony Kushner and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin -- whose book inspired the script -- will field questions from the lawmakers. 

Back in New Jersey, Booker might well be recovering from his headline-making food-stamp challenge, which began Tuesday and lasts one week. With a $27.98 grocery bill, the vegetarian stocked up on cans of beans, corn and peas. He's documenting his experience on Twitter (and facing criticism from people who think he didn't spend wisely enough).

"It's definitely made me realize so many of the things that I take for granted every single day -- like being able to stop at Starbucks and buy a cup of coffee, which right now, amounts to my entire food allowance for a day [$4]," said Booker after a Thursday-night screening of Breaking the Taboo, a new documentary about the drug war, at Google headquarters in Manhattan.

He joked that he was "suffering" from caffeine withdrawal. As a result, it's "harder to make complete sentences, and at this point, all I want to do is crawl up in a bed and go to sleep," he said.

Booker's hands-on response to Hurricane Sandy -- he responded to constituents' tweets asking for help, and showed up at their homes with supplies -- won him much media coverage in addition to profiles on programs such as NBC's Rock Center. There is talk that he could launch a campaign against Chris Christie for the Jersey governor's office in 2013 -- or possibly run for Senate.

For now, Booker -- who recently told New York Magazine that he was binge-ing on DVDs of the former Superhero TV series Smallville -- might soon start stumping for Jersey native Anne Hathaway to pick up awards for her buzzy performance in Tom Hooper's adaptation of Les Miserables. "But I have to see the movie first," he noted.

Booker, a "big fan" of the musical, said: "I was about to start singing but Sharon [his assistant] would kill me!"

Twitter: @ErinLCarlson 

Email: erin.carlson@thr.com