The New Republic profiles Sen.-elect Mike Lee, describing him as "the Tea Parties' most skilled spokesman."
[I]t seems safe to say that no Tea Partier had more success while garnering less national attention than Mike Lee. While running for Senate, the 39-year-old Utah Republican proposed dismantling the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He wants to repeal both the federal income tax and the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment that makes children born in the United States automatic citizens. Yet he cruised to victory with a near-30 point margin in a Senate race that was largely overlooked by the national media.
In the future, Lee is likely to attract a little more attention. In fact, he just might be the platonic ideal for the new Constitution-obsessed, Tea Party-infused GOP: a lawyer who knows how to muster constitutional arguments to justify extreme ideas -- and do it with a surprisingly genial, rational disposition. If, going forward, the Tea Party movement wants a national leader who doesn’t scream crackpot, Mike Lee is likely to be the guy.