Speed Reads

last night on late night

Sen. Cory Booker and Stephen Colbert talk replacing Scalia, dining with Ted Cruz

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) was Stephen Colbert's guest on Monday's Late Show, and he wanted to talk about love. Colbert wanted to talk politics, so they compromised and did both. Booker is out promoting his book United, and his premise is that love of country — patriotism — requires love of one another, not just that we tolerate each other. So in the Senate, Colbert asked, "where is the love?"

Has Booker been able to work with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), for example? "Yeah, we have," Booker said. "We've introduced some legislation, we passed some legislation together." That happened, he said, because he invited Cruz to dinner — a dining experience that not only uncovered common ground between the two senators, but also prompted lots of stares and pithy comments.

Colbert then asked about the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and whether Obama can "reasonably nominate" someone to replace him on the Supreme Court. Booker responded with a moving soliloquy about love and "the power of human kindness," until Colbert yanked him back on topic: "That was beautiful, and I loved every minute of it, but let's be serious." And Booker was: "As I read the Constitution, it clearly says we have an obligation, the president has an obligation to do our constitutional duty, to fill a vacancy. To allow that seat to remain vacant for more than a year, with all the consequential things going through the Supreme Court right now, in unacceptable." Watch below. Peter Weber