Cory Booker's food stamp challenge: 3 lessons

The popular Newark mayor vows to spend a week eating off of only $4 a day. What's he trying to prove?

Newark's Cory Booker: Empathetic mayor, or political panderer?
(Image credit: AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a popular Democrat widely seen as a strong potential candidate for a New Jersey Senate seat in 2014, has vowed to spend the week eating off of $4 a day, which is what the average food-stamp recipient receives in benefits. Booker — known for heroic exploits such as rescuing a constituent from a burning building — agreed to take the so-called "food stamp challenge" after having a spat over Twitter with a 39-year-old North Carolina mom who said taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for school lunches and breakfasts for low-income kids. Booker said Americans "have a shared responsibility that kids go to school nutritionally ready," and urged the woman to take the challenge with him, to see what it's like to survive on what the government provides for low-income families. Here, three lessons from Booker's crash diet:

1. People who depend on food stamps don't have it as easy as conservatives think

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