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.
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."
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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