“In a world where the body politic has the attention span at times of a goldfish, yep, you’ve got to have the ability to reinvent yourself in this game many times,” said Mr. Gaetz, who in his second term representing Florida’s western Panhandle has emerged as one of President Trump’s fiercest and most frequent defenders on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

“I did one cable news hit during my first 10 months in Congress,” he said during an interview in his Capitol Hill office last week. “Yeah. And now it’s only a couple of years later and The New York Times is sitting in my office asking me about my life. The only thing that’s changed is a little bit of time and a whole hell of a lot of cable.”…

“Matt feeds off disruption; it’s just this big adrenaline rush for him,” said Christian Ulvert, a Miami-based Democratic political consultant who met Mr. Gaetz at Florida State University in the early 2000s. “But it puts a ceiling on him, because it wears thin after a while, and it puts so many people off.”