"More than a few senators, Democrat and Republican, have made the decision to throw rocks at me"

Barack Obama, for example, entered the Senate to great fanfare in 2005, but he kept a notably lower profile, following the example of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Even Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), to whom Cruz is sometimes compared, didn’t go big early. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a hero of liberals in a way that Cruz is to conservatives, has maintained a quiet presence during her first few months on Capitol Hill.

“He doesn’t appear to be hunkering down for a long Senate career, and he certainly isn’t angling for a Senate leadership position,” said Ed Rogers, a longtime Republican strategist. “I think he is more of a loner than Rubio, Warren or even Obama and certainly Hillary.”

Lee, one of Cruz’s closest allies in the Senate, says there is little doubt that Cruz is serious about being a senator. “I don’t think anyone can doubt his sincerity or his commitment or his dedication to the job,” he said.