As National Review's Eliana Johnson reports, the Newark, N.J., mayor apparently invented a street character to add dramatic effect to his talking points:
The tale is one Booker admits he’s told “a million” times, according to the Newark Star Ledger. Ronald Rice Jr., a Newark city councilman and Booker ally who has known the mayor since 1998, says the T-Bone story was “a fixture” of Booker’s unsuccessful 2002 mayoral bid against corrupt Newark political boss Sharpe James, perhaps for its symbolic value. In Booker’s mind, according to the city councilman, “It’s not so much the details of the story” that matter, but the principle that “these things happen, they happen to real people, they happen in the city of Newark.” Rice, a Newark native, says he doesn’t know whether T-Bone exists. But, he explains, “if Cory had to tell a story or two and mix details up for Newark to get the funding for it, I see that as something that’s taking tragedy and doing something productive for it.”
Rutgers University history professor Clement Price told NRO that Booker has previously admitted that T-Bone was a “composite” of several people he’d met while living in Newark. Price objected to Booker's use of the fictional drug dealer because it “pandered to a stereotype of inner-city black men.” (Is Booker is a... racist?!?)
Booker has insisted T-Bone's relevance as an “archetype” symbolic of Newark’s struggles, just as Barack Obama defended his infamous "composite girlfriend," an invented white woman featured in his memoir designed specifically to reflect perceived racial grievances.
(Sidenote: Maybe we can set "T-Bone" up on a date with Barack Obama's "composite girlfriend"...)
And just like Hillary Clinton's false memories of dodging a sniper's bullets in Bosnia were meant to bolster her street cred, Booker's fabricated friend is just another lie from a shameless politician willing to say anything to get elected.
Update: Thanks to Ben Shapiro for reminding us of yet another popular progressive who likes to stretch the truth...
BREAKING: T-Bone spotted discussing racism with Elizabeth Warren's Native American relatives.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 29, 2013