Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has been trying to rebrand himself as a "happy husband" as he faces a federal sex-trafficking investigation.
The recently married Florida Republican and his wife Ginger Luckey recently tweeted out photos of themselves gazing out on the waterfront and smooching, with the lawmaker saying, "My politics are whatever this is," and his bride mumuring, "Mine are whatever this is," and political insiders have noticed the shift in his tone, reported Business Insider.
"It's definitely been noticed," said a Republican who worked with Gaetz in Florida. "It's somewhere between look-over-here magic-trick stuff and maybe pretending [there's no investigation]. There's not a lot that Matt Gaetz does that isn't in some way, shape, or form very carefully crafted image management."
The 39-year-old Gaetz has added "happy husband" to his "Florida man, Firebrand, America First" Twitter bio, but insiders see this latest turn as another stunt like his declaration that he was raising an adopted Cuban "son" Nestor Galban after another House colleague challenged him on raising nonwhite children.
"Matt is all about the optics," said another Florida political insider. "If you told me tomorrow he's adopted a baby from the African continent, I'd be like, 'He's firing on all cylinders.'"
The couple's social media lovefest may help tidy up his reputation as a philanderer, but it won't have any bearing on the possibility of charges in the ongoing criminal investigation.
"You can't out-social media the law," said Risa Heller, a Democratic crisis-communications expert. "You can't out-tweet the law. You can't out-Instagram the law."