Cory Booker has entered the 2020 presidential race and exited the list of most eligible bachelors.
The Democratic senator from New Jersey gushed about girlfriend Rosario Dawson after confirming to Ellen DeGeneres on her show Wednesday that he is dating the "Luke Cage" and "Men in Black II" actress.
Booker, 49, a former Newark mayor and the first African-American senator in New Jersey history, spoke glowingly about Dawson, 39, while recognizing their relationship will be under the microscope as he seeks the Democratic presidential nomination among a crowded field. He declared his candidacy last month.
"As our relationship grows it's difficult, but she is such a deeply soulful person and has taught me a lot of lessons about love already,'' he told DeGeneres. "Sometimes, you show the greatest strength when you make yourself vulnerable."
"She really has this nurturing spirit that has made me more courageous, not just in the love that I project and want to see in our country, but I think in our own personal relationships to love more fearlessly. I’m very, very blessed to be with somebody that makes me a better person."
Dawson was the first to make the news public, revealing their relationship to TMZ on March 14 after being approached at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.
"I am just grateful to be with someone that I respect and love and admire so much," she told TMZ.
Booker joked with DeGeneres that they were trying to keep it private, but Dawson "got TMZ'd."
"She was visiting me in D.C., and then she left to the airport, and she got ambushed at the airport,'' he said. "I suddenly get this little video from her saying 'I got TMZ’d! I don’t have makeup on this and this and that.'"
"But she knew what it was. She was wonderful and she’s just an incredible human being."
The only U.S. president to remain a lifelong bachelor is James Buchanan, who served from 1857-61, prior to the Civil War. Neither Booker nor Dawson have ever been married.
DeGeneres joked that Booker and Dawson should hold off on any nuptials in case he ends up winning the presidency, so then they could have the ceremony in the White House like "a royal wedding."
"So, you’re saying if Rosario and I get there, wait. Don’t do the marriage before 2021. January 2021,'' Booker said.
"For sure, wait and have a big thing,'' DeGeneres said. "And sweeps. It would be really important."
John Tyler, Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson are the only presidents who got married while in office, and Cleveland was the only one to hold ceremony in the White House. Cleveland was 49 in 1886 when he tied the knot with Frances Folsom, 21, in front of 28 guests in the Blue Room.
While Cleveland's wedding was officiated by his brother, Booker had DeGeneres promise she would handle the ceremony for a White House wedding.
"Yes, I would be a big part of that,'' she said.