The national spotlight continues to shine on Newark Mayor Cory Booker two weeks after his rescue of a next-door neighbor trapped in a burning home.
Booker appeared on "The Ellen Show" Tuesday to recount the harrowing experience, particularly when he couldn't locate his neighbor through the thick smoke and flames inside her home.
"You have that moment where you feel yourself surrender, that I'm done -- and then just that second, almost like an angel, she calls out to me," he said.
Booker said he has known his neighbors for years, and called them a "special family."
When DeGeneres asked if Booker only suffered burns to his hands, Booker, who is bald, joked, "I did have a big Afro before I went into the fire. That got burned off."
The mayor took the opportunity to promote what he called a transformation of Newark, a city that still suffers from a reputation for violent crime.
Booker said Newark is "a city full of heroes and champions."
"What gives me the most pride is to really see a community come together and really challenge the moral imagination of the country that often sees cities like Newark a place not to go to or a place with challenges," he said. "What Newark's done over the last six years is transform its reputation."
When DeGeneres asked if he planned to eventually run for a higher office, Booker said he will have to "make some decisions" toward the end of his term, "whether to run for a third term or look at some of the other statewide offices out there."
DeGeneres seized on the popular "superhero" meme assigned to Booker to present one of her trademark gag gifts: a bright Superman costume underneath a tearaway business suit.
"What if you really have to spring into action?" she said as she presented the blue tights and red underwear modeled on a show producer.
Laughing, Booker said, "That is one way to ensure I never get elected to another office."
The Ellen DeGeneres show airs on NBC New York every weekday at 4 p.m.
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