Cory Booker, Newark’s Dream Mayor


Cory Booker

Mayor Cory Booker

What Enneagram type is Cory Booker (born in 1969), the dream mayor of Newark New Jersey? He’s a vegetarian both for health reasons and environmental reasons… aha, an idealist. And he’s not preachy about it. He just believes it’s right for himself. He’s beginning to sound like an introvert. He doesn’t drink or do drugs. No addictions, even to TV or food or sex. He always wanted to be good. He’s beginning to sound like a 1-Perfectionist. “I really found myself in high school being the guy who was always there for people, comforting someone who is going through a breakup, holding somebody’s hair while they’re puking,” he said. “I really liked being an older brother figure within a group of friends, and I had friends in every group: the jocks, the band kids, the geeks. It felt like I could move seamlessly.” A 2-Helper?

Booker earned a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in sociology from Stanford University. He was a star football player and was elected to the student government council. He won a Rhodes Scholarship to Queens College, Oxford, England, and an honors degree in modern history in 1994. He met Rabbi Shmuley Boteach there and became president of the L’Chaim Society, an organization devoted to easing tensions between Jews and African-Americans. He attended Yale University Law School, then started free legal clinics for low-income residents of the neighboring city of New Haven, CT. Returning to New Jersey, he was hired as a staff attorney for New York City’s Urban Justice Center, then became Program Coordinator of the Newark (NJ) Youth Project. Although professionally and financially successful, in 1998 Booker moved into Brick Towers, a Newark housing project, which was notorious for its run-down condition and crime problems. He led the project’s tenants in their fight for improvements in housing, maintenance and security. That same year he won election to the Newark City Council. The next year, as a council member, he went on a ten-day hunger strike to protest blatant drug-dealing in one of Newark’s worst housing projects. In 2000 he lived in a motor home for five months, staying on streets in some of the most crime- and drug-infested areas of the city to see how bad conditions were.

He’s beginning to sound like a 9-Peace-Seeker: mediating, a humanist, looking out for all the people, not just his own career. But I have a hunch. Could he be a 6-Questioner with an underlying motivation of security? The Questioner loves justice and has a strong connection to the Peace Seeker. Making friends with every group in high school fits, being idealistic and interested in helping those in need of help fits. What’s more, Questioners can be extremely brave, as Booker has been living in scary neighborhoods and rushing into a burning building and to accident scenes to save people. And Questioners often have a tremendous amount of energy, which he obviously has.
In 2002 Booker decided to run for Mayor. (His battle against long-time mayor Sharpe James was chronicled in the documentary Street Fight (2005).) Booker made a strong showing but lost the election.

In 2003 Booker started Newark Now, a nonprofit civic improvement group, became a partner in a West Orange (NJ) law firm and a senior fellow at Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. In 2006 he ran for mayor of Newark again. Mayor James suddenly dropped out of the race and picked a Newark deputy mayor to run in his place. Booker trounced James’ candidate in the largest landslide victory in Newark’s history. In addition, Newark voters swept out the whole City Council, replacing them with the slate of candidates endorsed by Booker, giving him control over the city government.

Some of this blog was based on Is Cory Booker the Greatest Mayor in America? By Lucy Kaylin

If you’re curious about the Enneagram types of other famous people, go to this page of my web site.

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Introverted Controversial Questioner


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In The Social Contract, Rousseau (1712 – 1778) wrote, “Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.” He believed we’re all good by nature but are corrupted by society. Our real teachers are experience and emotion; our institutions mess us up. On the other hand, he thought all citizens should be committed to the general good, even if it means acting against their private or personal interests. For example, we might support a political party that proposes to tax us heavily (if we have a large income!) because we can see the benefit this taxation can bring to all.

What kind of a guy was Rousseau? At the time, they said he was paranoid, a hypochondriac, and insane; he behaved erratically, had sudden changes of mood, oscillated, was disrespectful of others’ humanity, and falsely accused people. He often fell out with his friends and associates: Diderot, Hume, Voltaire, and others. His writings and behavior brought on vicious attacks by others. At the same time, the way his mind operated opened him up to creative ways of viewing the world.

What Enneagram type was Rousseau? His habit of oscillating, his suspicious nature, and that he didn’t like superiors suggest the Questioner type. He felt alienated and would stay to himself. He certainly marched to his own drummer so I would say he was a Questioner with an Observer wing. My second choice would be the Romantic.

When he was in disfavor, the Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg offered him and his partner, Thérèse, a house on their estate near Paris. Living there secluded, Rousseau produced three major works: The New Heloise, probably the most widely read novel of his day; The Social Contract, an influential book on political theory; and Émile, a classic book on education. Émile created problems with the Church in France and was burned in a number of places. Rousseau was forced to leave France for Switzerland, his birthplace, but his citizenship there was revoked as a result of the book. In 1766 he went to England where he fell out with David Hume, and returned to France under a false name.

In his last years, Rousseau completed his Confessions and returned to copying music to make a living, working in the morning and walking and “botanizing”in the afternoon. He loved nature.

I wonder if the following influenced The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle:

“But if there is a state where the soul can find a resting-place secure enough to establish itself and concentrate its entire being there, with no need to remember the past or reach into the future, where time is nothing to it, where the present runs on indefinitely but this duration goes unnoticed, with no sign of the passing of time, and no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than the simple feeling of existence, a feeling that fills our soul entirely, as long as this state lasts, we can call ourselves happy, not with a poor, incomplete and relative happiness such as we find in the pleasures of life, but with a sufficient, complete and perfect happiness which leaves no emptiness to be filled in the soul. Such is the state which I often experienced on the Island Of Saint-Pierre in my solitary reveries, whether I lay in a boat and drifted where the water carried me, or sat by the shores of the stormy lake, or elsewhere, on the banks of a lovely river or a stream murmuring over the stones.”

Rousseau’s ideal was the independent farmer, free of superiors and self-governing. His critics/peers found this distasteful. They preferred the luxuries of a civilized existence. To make matters worse for them, every new work of Rousseau’s was a tremendous success, whether on politics, theater, education, religion, or love.

See my blog on How to Get Along with an Introvert, Part I on Psychology Today. Part II will be published April 3 in Psychology Today. Also, see my list of Famous Types.