You've seen the breathless Politico coverage of Ted Cruz: "It’s his moment and he damn well knows it"; "Ted Cruz wants to be GOP's answer man"; "How well do you know the potential 2016 candidate? Take our quiz to find out." You've seen the breathless Politico speculation about his future plans: "Ted Cruz to Iowa fundraiser in October"; "Ted Cruz to speak at S.C. GOP dinner"; "Ted Cruz dad: Son 'destined' by God." If Politico is, as Charlie Pierce says, Tiger Beat on the Potomac, then Ted Cruz should be on the cover of the print edition, shirtless.
But now Cory Booker comes along and hints that he might try to follow the Cruz career path, and Politico is not sure that's a good idea:
Liberals and TV producers are already salivating over the thought of outspoken Cory Booker becoming the junior senator from New Jersey.(Yes, the go-to witness for the perils of not going along to get along in the Senate is a guy who left the Senate in disgrace.)
But if he agrees to become the go-to counter voice against camera-friendly Republicans like Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz ... some warn that his Senate career could be doomed.
... Will he bother trying to figure out the inner workings of the institution? ...
"He's really got to make an important decision upon entering the Senate and keep that commitment to himself," former New Jersey Sen. Rob Torricelli told POLITICO. "Senators quickly discern whether you’re interested in hard work and learning about the nation's problems and solutions. He would do best to come to the Senate and disappear for a while and simply learn and grow."
Now, let me say this before you start typing comments: I don't trust Cory Booker. I'm not "salivating" at the prospect of having him in the Senate. I think he's a corporatist and a phony liberal and is only out for himself -- and he's not out for himself in the way Ted Cruz is out for himself, because Ted Cruz, if he achieves his ultimate goal and becomes president, will relentlessly pursue the ideology of the worst right-wing billionaires in America, as an ideological crusade. Whereas Cory Booker will pursue the ideology of marginally less awful billionaires, some of whom have a few pockets of ideological decency with regard to, say, gay people. Mostly, he would be trying to aggrandize himself, in a John Edwards empty-suit way.
But Politico isn't concerned with that. Ted Cruz has broken all the unwritten rules for freshman senators and it's done him nothing but good. Blowing off the Senate and its traditions has no downside for him because no one in America respects Congress, and it has tremendous upside for him within the Beltway establishment because naked power grabs always make the members of the Beltway establishment excited and squirmy.
But Cory Booker better not try anything like this!
I guess the only reason is that It's OK If You're A Republican. Ted Cruz is young, but if anyone is Republican Daddy right now, it's Cruz. Cory Booker can't apply for that gig. So, for him, it's different.