Cory Booker’s shameless gambit of launching his presidential bid by attacking Jeff Sessions has really gotten under this Insurrectionist’s skin. From my Quick Hit of this morning: “I reckon he earned the scorn of many of his fellow Dems for his transparent ploy.”

And so it was gratifying to get confirmation this morning from Joe Scarborough, who on Morning Joe said this of Booker’s stunt: “obviously calculated . . . in a way that would have the other senators, especially Democratic senators, wanting to drag him away . . .  a lot of senators irked, especially on the Democratic side. They thought he was launching his bid for the 2020 campaign.”

Note: aside from Scarborough, the other panelists tried to cover for Cory. John Heilemann insisted that his shtick was “impassioned.” Mika Brzezinski claimed that it contained “important content.” And Willie Geist said that Booker “meant what he said.” Scarborough reported that a “collective groan” went up in the MSM during Booker’s testimony, but added, “you won’t hear that from many people.” Gee, I wonder why that might be?

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back, children, to word association game. Today, the topic is the Senate. Specifically confirmation hearings. We go to John Heilemann, the word today is, are you ready? Little Cory Booker. Word association. Cory Booker.

JOHN HEILEMANN: Impassioned.

JOE: Yes.

HEILEMANN: Impassioned.

JOE: And?

HEILEMANN: Impassioned.

JOE: And?

HEILEMANN: Maybe — I kept waiting for —

JOE: The secret word is “calculating.”

HEILEMANN: Calculating. Yes. Certainly, Cory Booker’s speech yesterday you can imagine maybe in 2020 that speech being part of his presidential campaign launch.

JOE: Another phrase. Presidential launch. I have to ask this question — we’ve had Cory, we like Cory. Has anybody seen anything as calculated, as obviously calculated as this in a way that would have the other senators, especially Democratic senators, wanting to drag him away?

MIKE BARNICLE: Wrong venue. Wrong time.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Important content.

BARNICLE: Important content, but it was basically, you know, should have been given like two years from now as he launches his campaign for president.

WILIE GEIST: I think he meant what he said but I think he was also —

MIKA: And I think there is some serious questions.

WILLIE: Getting his profile out there a little bit.

JOE: All I can tell our friends at home is, across the fruited plains of the mainstream media there was a collective groan that went up during that. I’m sure you won’t hear that from many people, but very calculated and a lot of senators irked, especially on the Democratic side. They thought he was launching his bid for the 2020 campaign.