Did Senator Cory Booker and Mindy Kaling Just Set Up a Real-Life Date Over Twitter?

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Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The New Yorker

In a burgeoning story line befitting a romantic comedy, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Mindy Kaling exchanged flirtatious tweets today, and they may or may not have seriously committed to a dinner date in New Jersey some time next week. The exchange started when Booker playfully ribbed Kaling for a scene in the most recent episode of The Mindy Project in which she referenced him and took a jab at Newark. Kaling then assured him that her TV alter ego, Mindy Lahiri, has pretty bad judgment, and so if she talks shit about something that probably means it’s actually good.

Feeling emboldened by Kaling’s response, Booker went big and just straight-up asked Kaling to go to dinner with him in Newark. Maybe he’s just playing the role of cultural ambassador to mitigate future trash talk about his constituents, but the heart emoji and use of a #PleaseSayYes suggest the senator from New Jersey might just be feeling himself and is ready to risk public rebuke from Kaling in pursuit of a date. Not only did she say yes, she requested a train schedule. Kaling either means it, or she’s setting up the Democratic golden boy for an intentional public humiliation.

At this point, Booker is feeling giddy like a teenager, deploying a grin and a confetti-party emoji in response to Kaling accepting his offer. He even went so far as to say (in our words, not his), Nah, girl, you don’t have to take the train, because I’ll pay for your Lyft. Booker apparently has said #ByeUber as well.

Kaling could be interested, or she could just be gathering material for a romantic comedy about a looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places millennial gal who gets caught up in the world of D.C. politics after she starts dating a political up-and-comer. (We know she’s done “research” in Washington before.) Obviously, the movie would star Kaling (ostensibly as herself) and a Cory Booker stand-in (maybe Maury Rooker for story), and it would follow them from their flirtatious Twitter beginnings all the way to their secret romance and clear through the inevitable breakup when she just can’t handle playing second fiddle to his career anymore. I’m not in love with the country! I’m in love with you! After a wrenching montage in which we see both Kaling and Rooker staring off into the middle distance while everyone talks at them, he finally chooses love and gets on a PATH train one night to tell her she’s the only one. But then, of course, he also becomes president and Kaling is the First Lady. If this happens — and let’s just say it definitely will — whoever is running the PATH Twitter account will play a small but crucial supporting role.

And scene!

The Origin of Cory Booker and Mindy Kaling’s Love Story