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Game Changers 2014: Cory Booker and Marco Rubio

One of these senators may be our best hope for the White House in 2016.
Illustration: Sean McCabe

U.S. senator and former Newark, NJ, mayor Cory Booker wouldn’t be the first black Democrat to make a run for president. But he would be the first to have shoveled sidewalks for constituents during a snowstorm, saved a woman from a fire, and lived off food stamps just to see what it was like. As for Marco Rubio, the Cuban-American Republican senator from Florida whom Time once called the “Republican savior,” he has strong opinions on climate change and immigration—but he also married a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, has been known to blast hip-hop from his campaign bus, and isn’t afraid to skip work to watch the World Series. (Oh, and like the rest of us, he was once deep in debt, owing in the ballpark of $250,000 in student loans.)

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The two may end up in an epic battle for the presidency—the Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader of the 2016 election (you pick the good guy)—but they’ve already proven they know how to work together. This year they teamed up to create the Wi-Fi Innovation Act, which basically asks the FCC to free up more airwaves for wireless Internet. Which, if you think about it, is a genius preemptive campaign move. Want to attract more young voters? Give them more Internet.

FIT FACT: Booker, known for pounding iron and banging out pushups in hotel rooms, stays “mobile”—literally—rather than sit when he’s on the phone.


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