Utah's newest senator - he's LDS, liberal and rising rapidly

To say he simply is a rising Democratic star might be a perversion of astronomy.

Ben McAdams is an internationally seasoned securities lawyer with Wall Street cred. He has orchestrated the advance team's global itinerary for two U.S. presidents as well as for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. He moonlights as a university professor but maneuvers daily as Salt Lake City's most effective - maybe ever - legislative lobbyist. And the former University of Utah student body president has just taken his oath as a state senator.

McAdams is all of 35.

"That guy has a Blackberry to envy," marvels Lisa Harrison Smith, spokeswoman for Mayor Ralph Becker, McAdams' boss. "I hope he has it insured."

Carting a network in his pocket, Becker's baby-faced senior adviser has ready access to the political class in Washington, the financial class in New York and the ruling class at Temple Square. As such, the devout Mormon -- with his unapologetic progressive politics -- has become an insurance policy for Becker's capital agenda.

And make no mistake, McAdams doesn't soft-pedal the connection between his liberalism and his religion. Instead, the working-class kid from West Bountiful argues the bond is natural -- indeed necessary.

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