The Anti-Ted Cruz

Taegan Goddard
The Week

When he is sworn in later this month, Cory Booker will be a celebrity in the U.S. Senate. He has over a million Twitter followers, is known nationally, and was even the star of an Oscar-nominated documentary in 2005 called Street Fight.

Many new senators with celebrity status put their heads down and get to work. Examples include then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN). Both freshman lawmakers did very few national interviews and focused mainly on establishing themselves in a legislative chamber that prizes seniority over notoriety.

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But it’s unlikely Booker will be a quiet newcomer to the chamber. That’s not how he works. In fact, Booker may move quickly to establish himself as a liberal counterweight to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-AZ), a conservative who wasted no time trying to make his mark.

First Read predicted as much last summer: "Our educated guess – he would be a disruptor, in ways that could be interpreted as both good and bad, depending on your view of the U.S. Senate. You would see him partner with someone like Rand Paul on legislation; you would see him alienate some of the old bulls, both Democrats and Republicans... That could produce some interesting results and stories and surprising rivalries and surprising bedfellows."

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Earlier today, Booker officiated at the first same-sex marriage in Newark. It’s the type of bold, very public move that made him a household name. We can probably expect more of that from Senator-elect Cory Booker in the coming months.

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