Others were less conciliatory. Senator Bob Corker, who had strong words for Cruz yesterday, expressed chagrin. “The dynamic seems pretty churned up, and I just don’t — I don’t know,” he told a cluster of reporters while Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), and Senator Mike Lee (R., Utah) held a post-vote press conference in an adjacent room off the Senate chamber. “I’ve been really good at calling these, I’m batting a thousand,” Corker continued, of his ability to predict the outcome of shutdowns. “I’ve called every one of them right so far, I don’t say that to brag. This one, I don’t know, I don’t know that I can call this one.”

One Senate aide blamed Corker’s spotlight-grabbing role as Cruz’s foil on weak Republican leadership. “Because our leadership has not led for a number of months because of electoral politics, Senator McCain and Senator Graham and Senator Corker have sort of emerged as sort of de facto leaders in a leadership vacuum,” he says. “I like Senator Cornyn, I like Senator McConnell, I respect them, I know their colleagues respect them, but in fairness there just has not been a whole lot of direction, there’s really been no strategy.”