In this Jan. 27, 2011 photo, Newark Mayor Cory Booker shovels snow to dig out Jasmine Ingram's vehicle, in Newark, N.J. "It was very nice. I didn't expect it so it was shocking," said Ingram, 20, who was one of four people to have their vehicle dug out by the mayor and a group of residents. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)AP

AHEAD OF HIS SKIS

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, one of the Democratic Party's rising stars, is now a 2014 Senate hopeful. But he's quickly finding out that running for Congress isn't just about making regular MSNBC appearances and firing off congratulatory retweets.

Booker announced earlier this month he was running for the seat of 88-year-old Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who was widely expected to retire. But Lautenberg has since said he's not going anywhere, and his staff angrily, but anonymously, attacked Booker through local newspapers as a self-absorbed promotion machine. Meanwhile, another ambitious New Jersey Democrat, Rep. Frank Pallone, has telegraphed his interest in running against Booker, but only if Lautenberg retires.

Now, Booker is trying to change the subject, at least publicly, saying that his Senate campaign isn't "really an issue right now" on MSNBC's The Last Word. In the meantime, the mayor has a lot of fence-mending to do with the influential state and county Democratic leaders who play an outsized role in party primaries. He's quickly learning one messy reality of Jersey politics: Run afoul of the party machine at your own risk.

Elahe Izadi

ON YOUR WAY OUT, STOP AT THE GIFT SHOP

The high rollers usually get all the attention at inaugurals, when they show up aboard their private jets and spend tens of thousands of dollars at the high-end hotels. But deals also abound for the average guy interested in inaugural booty. He just has to log onto the 57th Presidential Inauguration Store.

There, a shopper can buy anything from a ruler with pictures of all the presidents for only $2.50, to $5 buttons, a $10 "official program," and a $15 pair of Obama 44 tube socks. For those willing to spend a little more, how about a $400 poster? And at the top of the line, you can own a silver medallion for $1,250 or a medallion set cast in bronze, silver, and gold for only $7,500. The set comes, of course, with a certificate of authenticity. Officials say the tube socks are a particularly hot seller — even though they lack a certificate of authenticity.

George E. Condon Jr.

MURMURS

Getting to Know You It's still effectively the first week of school in the House, with newly elected members learning the names of their more experienced colleagues and memorizing the underground pathways from their offices to the chamber's floor. The new-Congress dynamic is particularly entertaining in the tiny Capitol elevators, where Republicans and Democrats squeeze in and joke about the weather. An unnamed new member struck up an elevator conversation with celebrity Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., this week, asking whether he plays basketball with President Obama. The fitness nut and Budget chairman demurred, saying he can't play due to a back injury. The freshman confessed, "I'm still looking for the gym."

Staff Swap Newly sworn-in Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has hired recently retired Rep. Barney Frank's chief of staff, Bruno Freitas, who worked for the Massachusetts Democrat for 18 years as his economic-development director and senior adviser. Meanwhile, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., has swooped up two of Warren's star campaign staffers — Michael Pratt and Colleen Coffey — as he eyes a run for the seat held by Sen. John Kerry, according to The Boston Globe.

AHEAD OF HIS SKIS

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, one of the Democratic Party's rising stars, is now a 2014 Senate hopeful. But he's quickly finding out that running for Congress isn't just about making regular MSNBC appearances and firing off congratulatory retweets.

Booker announced earlier this month he was running for the seat of 88-year-old Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who was widely expected to retire. But Lautenberg has since said he's not going anywhere, and his staff angrily, but anonymously, attacked Booker through local newspapers as a self-absorbed promotion machine. Meanwhile, another ambitious New Jersey Democrat, Rep. Frank Pallone, has telegraphed his interest in running against Booker, but only if Lautenberg retires.

Now, Booker is trying to change the subject, at least publicly, saying that his Senate campaign isn't "really an issue right now" on MSNBC's The Last Word. In the meantime, the mayor has a lot of fence-mending to do with the influential state and county Democratic leaders who play an outsized role in party primaries. He's quickly learning one messy reality of Jersey politics: Run afoul of the party machine at your own risk.

Elahe Izadi

ON YOUR WAY OUT, STOP AT THE GIFT SHOP

The high rollers usually get all the attention at inaugurals, when they show up aboard their private jets and spend tens of thousands of dollars at the high-end hotels. But deals also abound for the average guy interested in inaugural booty. He just has to log onto the 57th Presidential Inauguration Store.

There, a shopper can buy anything from a ruler with pictures of all the presidents for only $2.50, to $5 buttons, a $10 "official program," and a $15 pair of Obama 44 tube socks. For those willing to spend a little more, how about a $400 poster? And at the top of the line, you can own a silver medallion for $1,250 or a medallion set cast in bronze, silver, and gold for only $7,500. The set comes, of course, with a certificate of authenticity. Officials say the tube socks are a particularly hot seller — even though they lack a certificate of authenticity.

George E. Condon Jr.

MURMURS

Getting to Know You It's still effectively the first week of school in the House, with newly elected members learning the names of their more experienced colleagues and memorizing the underground pathways from their offices to the chamber's floor. The new-Congress dynamic is particularly entertaining in the tiny Capitol elevators, where Republicans and Democrats squeeze in and joke about the weather. An unnamed new member struck up an elevator conversation with celebrity Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., this week, asking whether he plays basketball with President Obama. The fitness nut and Budget chairman demurred, saying he can't play due to a back injury. The freshman confessed, "I'm still looking for the gym."

Staff Swap Newly sworn-in Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has hired recently retired Rep. Barney Frank's chief of staff, Bruno Freitas, who worked for the Massachusetts Democrat for 18 years as his economic-development director and senior adviser. Meanwhile, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., has swooped up two of Warren's star campaign staffers — Michael Pratt and Colleen Coffey — as he eyes a run for the seat held by Sen. John Kerry, according to The Boston Globe.

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