Cory Booker speaks onstage at the Pencils of Promise gala, October 2013. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Pencils of Promise)

(The Root) — Thursday will be a whirlwind day for the new senator from New Jersey, Cory Booker. His public swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., will be conducted by Vice President Joe Biden, and later in the afternoon he'll visit with President Barack Obama at the White House.

Booker will be one of two African Americans in the current Senate, joining South Carolina Republican Tim Scott. Although there have been nine African Americans in the upper house, only four have been elected by popular vote: Edward Brooke of Massachusetts; Carol Moseley Braun and Obama, both of Illinois; and now Booker.

Booker brings some celebrity status to Washington, having long been a media favorite with his hands-on, social-media-savvy approach to governing as mayor of Newark. At least one of his soon-to-be colleagues has already gushed about his arrival, saying on the floor of the Senate that the Stanford University grad's large physique was matched by his big intellect.

In his resignation letter, which he submitted before he left his Newark office on his last day as mayor, Booker promised that his commitment to service would continue at the same level:

While I am leaving one position, I am not leaving Newark. I am proud to be able to now represent Newark and our entire state as a United States Senator. My level of dedication, passion and service will not falter as I serve New Jersey. Our best days lie ahead, and together, we will continue to achieve great things. The work goes on.


The swearing-in ceremony for Booker is open to the public.