I was interested in a phrase “There are perks, but there’s also baggage” in the following passage of Washington Post (March 7) article that came under the title, “Marco Rubio Implodes On Super Saturday.”

“Here’s a hard truth for the D.C. political class: There’s almost no appetite at the grassroots level for an establishment nominee this year, and Rubio is now undeniably the establishment candidate. There are perks that come from being the establishment’s guy – the most money, seasoned staff, etc. – but there’s also baggage. This year more than ever. Super Saturday results show Rubio collapsing, Trump stoppable and Cruz gaining momentum.”

We Japanese have an idiom, “損得両用” meaning “There are both merit (profit) and demerit (loss),” and expressing possibly the same idea with “There are perks, but there’s also baggage” in four characters.

I’m curious to know whether “There are perks, but there’s also baggage” a quite common turn of phrase that I can use elsewhere with confidence of its currency, or just a creation of the writer.

  • 5
    It's certainly not an "adage". Searching Google Books returns no hits. There aren't even any hits for it on the Internet at large yet (but I expect soon enough this very question will be found and indexed by Google). It's just normal use of language - no special reason why anyone would remember and repeat it. Consider there are pros and cons Mar 7, 2016 at 21:33
  • 1
    Never heard it before. The meaning is easy to understand, though -- the meaning is entirely literal, save for "baggage".
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 7, 2016 at 23:41

1 Answer 1


As FF points out this isn't an adage or set saying, but it means slightly more than pros and cons in the light of US politics. When politicians accept the endorsement and help from some group, they gain perquisites (shortened to perks) or privileges from that association. In Marco Rubio's case, the association with the so-called "establishment" gains access to the Republican donor class and a seasoned political apparat, i.e, money and experienced political operatives. But in making the association, such politicians cannot escape the bad reputation, failed policies, and previous political errors of that group. All of the downside is summed up in the metaphor of baggage, a burden the politicians must carry even if they don't own it personally. In Rubio's case, many of the Republican primary voters hate this establishment for its failure to reverse the policies of the Obama administration. Marco Rubio on his own could hardly be blamed for that. After all, he's a freshman Senator who wasn't even in the majority party for much of his time in the Senate. But once he accepts the help of the establishment, their perceived failures become his.

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