At Harvard Law School, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, would only study with pals from other Ivy elites.
"He said he didn't want anybody from 'minor Ivies' like Penn or Brown," law-school roommate Damon Watson told GQ Magazine. Yet, Cruz, who was profiled in the magazine's October issue, once asked permission of Chief Justice John Roberts to wear his "argument boots" -- black ostrich-skin cowboy boots -- to the Supreme Court.
"I saw John shortly after his confirmation," Cruz told the magazine. "And I guess I was feeling a little cheeky, because I took the opportunity to ask, 'Mr. Chief Justice, do you have any views on the appropriateness of boots as footwear at oral argument?' And Chief Justice Roberts chuckled and he said, 'You know, Ted, if you're representing the state of Texas, they're not only appropriate, they're required.'"
It's Cruz's don't-mess-with-Texas attitude with a splash of East coast snobbery that GQ's Jason Zengerle captures in the piece. Zengerle discusses politics with Cruz and writes about the lawmaker's interesting backstory. (Cruz's Cuban father was thrown in prison after fighting for Castro and then immigrated to the states to attend the University of Texas.) But, most interestingly, the GQ writer also tours the senator's Capitol Hill office.
Of note there, is that Cruz keeps a Daffy Duck baseball cap -- it's black, like his boots -- with the words "Wacko Bird" on it, to thumb his nose at Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. McCain memorably called Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., "wacko birds" for their flagrant brand of conservatism. McCain later apologized.
The office also holds a piece of artwork that reminds those visiting that Cruz has argued nine cases in front of the Supreme Court.
"I was 32 years old. It was abundantly clear that we didn't have a prayer ... And I've always enjoyed the fact that as I'm sitting in my desk, I'm looking at a giant painting of me getting my rear end whipped 9-0," Cruz explained. "It is helpful, for keeping one grounded."
But Zengerle has a different take on the painting.
"From the artist's vantage point, we can see three other courtroom artists, each also drawing Cruz--so the painting actually features not one but four images of young Cruz before the bench," Zengerle wrote.