What do you do if you’re a freshman senator—first year on the job—and you very much want to be taken seriously? Or rather, what don’t you do?

Per yesterday’s New York Times piece on the “competing elements” of Sen. Barack Obama’s “megawatt celebrity” and the realities of being a rookie senator:

Determined to be viewed as substantive, Mr. Obama kept his head down, declining Sunday talk show invitations for his first year, and consulted Senate elders for advice…

In Obama’s calculations, appearing on the Sunday talk shows might hamper—not help—his efforts to appear “substantive.” Imagine that!

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.