During an interview with Cory Booker on his show All In Thursday night, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes brought us up to speed on Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan’s recent assertion of how extra manly his scotch-and-cigar fetish is, compared to Booker’s penchant for late-night mani-pedis. Lonegan’s attempt at shade-throwing followed the Washington Post’s recent Booker profile, in which the Democratic candidate and Newark mayor said he didn’t mind rumors that he was gay. Hayes and Booker both agreed the question of Booker’s sexuality was “ridiculous.” Then Hayes badgered Booker about it for about five more minutes.
Hayes’s angle was that coming out is an important personal step to promote the visibility of the gay people, so why wouldn’t Booker do it? Booker’s angle was roughly the same one he’s been taking for months now: “The question really should not be am I gay or straight. The question should be, why the heck are you asking the question in the first place? It doesn’t make a whit of difference what kind of senator I’m going to be or not.” He went on to point out he’s “affirmed my sexual orientation numerous times” and that “people in my local press world know exactly what that is.”
Okay, that’s a bit overly coy but there really isn’t a huge mystery here: Booker has talked about dating women before. Hell, he got into some detail about it with the Post just this week: “Because how unfair is it to a young lady to put them in the spotlight if they haven’t signed up for that yet?” That is, the young ladies he dates. So Booker has historically suggested he’s straight, and then made a big point about how he’s not really going to directly answer the question of his sexuality. Because as he and Hayes both agree, it’s ridiculous. For several more minutes of circular discussion on why, watch the clip.