However the nuclear talks with Iran turn out, the media are reporting that the Republicans can at least boast of a new "rising star" in their family.
He is Tom Cotton, a 37-year-old freshman senator from Arkansas, who wrote the notorious letter to Iran shared by 46 of his GOP colleagues. Cotton has launched his career to stardom by embellishing an idea from Speaker John Boehner to eliminate one of the three branches of government; that is, until a Republican someday settles into the Oval Office.
The national media love "rising stars". It gives them fresh and provocative content to fill the news columns and TV hours, as they will certainly do for Cotton, a young Harvard man with a lean and hungry look in his new job.
That doesn't mean Cotton is assured of any lasting celebrity in his party's estate. There have always been rising stars for the party that continues to sulk after losing "both of them" to Barack Obama.
It has paraded out unsuccessful performances in its responses to Obama's State of the Union addresses, soldiers like Joni Ernst, Bobby Jindal and thirsty Marco Rubio. Earlier we witnessed the meteoric rise of , um...Sarah Palin. Couldn't miss in her claim to lead the party into the future, albeit under the wing of John McCain. There were a few observers who even cast Herman Cain as a promising voice in the party's broad tent. And who could ignore the photogenic former Virginia Gov. Bob O'Donnell before...well, you probably know the rest.
Even Ohio Sen. Rob Portman was once ballyhooed in the national media as a rising star with the sky the limit.(Read: Presidential candidate)
On the Democratic side the only rising star who made it big was Barack Obama. Years ago, I watched for the same status to be accorded Dennis Kucinich. But the hometown media considered him to be a nuisance and let it go at that.
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It's always painful for the local prints to have to suggest that one of their own in the political stable was a bit brash. So it was when the Plain Dealer rightly hissed editorially about the Iran letter but gave Ohio Sen. Rob. Portman , who signed it, a soft landing. It assured the reader that Portman is "usually rational". Problem solved.