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• His particular focus has been on reconnecting predominantly black male ex-offenders with their communities and families. He has created innovative programs, such as the Center for Fathers, to teach them parenting skills, train them for jobs, teach them about alternatives to another cycle of drugs, crime and prison.

• Like his friend from across the Hudson River, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, and schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Mr. Booker committed himself to fundamental change in Newark’s public school system. He broke with liberal orthodoxy by supporting charter schools and school vouchers, teacher accountability and performance testing.

I met Mr. Booker for the first time last week. He was one of a small group of political and business leaders discussing key issues and future trends in American politics. The session lasted about 90 minutes. It took me about five minutes listening to him to conclude that I was in the presence of an extraordinary political talent and public servant.

Talk about a “purple” bipartisan approach: He sees and builds bridges where ordinary partisans see and exacerbate breaches. He speaks the truth simply and powerfully about how to solve people’s problems, especially the underclass and the powerless, not by more partisanship, but by less.

This guy is the real deal.

If Mr. Obama is the most historic and successful national black political leader in our country’s history, then I predict that Mr. Booker will be, if he isn’t already, the most important black mayor in American history. And I wouldn’t be surprised if in the not-too-distant future he also becomes a historic national political leader.

Stay tuned.

Lanny Davis, a Washington lawyer and former special counsel to President Clinton, served as a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board from 2006 to 2007. He is the author of “Scandal: How ‘Gotcha’ Politics Is Destroying America.”