This post has been updated.
Like a high schooler collecting yearbook messages before summer break, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is roaming the halls of the Senate before August recess asking his peers to pose for selfies.
Booker, who rose to national prominence through social media, may be the most selfied (can that be a verb?) politician. After Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), he has the most Twitter followers of any member of Congress with nearly 1.5 million.
Booker wants to photograph himself cheek to cheek all 99 senators (there’s a lot of free time on Capitol Hill these days) and he’s up to 10 since starting this project four weeks ago.
He’s posted them on his public Instagram account, but for copyright reasons we cannot republish them without his permission and Booker’s office would not give it to us. His office also declined to comment on what spurred Booker to do this, or what he plans to do with the photos (A collage for his office? A my first year in Washington memory book?). That said, his spokeswoman was very sweet about it all even if she could not explain how something the senator was sharing on social media was meant to be a mystery.
UPDATE: But we can legally embed the photos from Booker’s Instagram account. So here they are, complete with all the nice accolades Booker shared about his willing colleagues (including a nod to one Republican’s hot bod).
1. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)
“A true gentleman and valued source of wisdom for me in the Senate.”
2. Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
“I so appreciate his bipartisan leadership on Unemployment Insurance Extension. He showed that we can reach across the aisle, compromise and get things done in the Senate.”
3. Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.)
“Though different parties he has become a valued colleague giving me wise insights on being an effective Senator. #Gratitude”
4. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)
“We are from different parties and very different states but we have found a way to work together — we joined forces to get local governments resources and more authority for Brownfields remediation. #OneNation”
5. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
“Sen. Baldwin has become a trusted colleague for me and I’ve enjoyed working with her on worker training and jobs issues. #ValuedVoice”
6. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
“Sen. Murkowski has quickly become a Senator whose opinions and insights I value and who works hard to find common ground amidst the partisanship that too often paralyzes DC. #Grateful”
7. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
“Senator Durbin is a great champion of many issues dear to me and is a strong leader as Senate Majority Whip. #PeoplesAdvocate”
8. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
“Senator Thune has become a valued colleague and friend who challenges me on issues in constructive ways. He is also hands down in the best shape of all the Senators. 8 years my senior, his work ethic in the Senate gym shames and inspires me to get in better shape. #DudeAreYouSeriouslyLiftingThatMuchWeight”
9. Sen. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.)
“Senator Enzi has a strong reputation for working on bipartisan deals. He is one of the deans of our weekly prayer breakfast and a senior senator I’ve come to admire and appreciate as a colleague and friend. #BreakfastBrother
10. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kent.)
“Across party lines Senator Paul and I have found common ground around the urgent need to reform our criminal justice system and address the anguished and expensive reality of mass incarceration of nonviolent offenders in USA. We also bonded over our respect for the holiday of Festivus (Senator Paul has a long list of grievances). #BipartisanshipARealAndNeededFeatOfStrength”
Like collecting baseball cards, will some senators be harder gets than others? And will Booker come up with niceties to say about everyone he poses with? Even Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)?