Category Archive:
Politics

New members, new staff – it’s that time of year when the hill sees a lot of turn over and a bunch of fresh faces crop up among the seasoned veterans. Having been in your shoes and made several of these mistakes, FamousDC thought we’d share a few choice pieces of advice to help you navigate your first week on the hill. If it’s your second week in the halls of power, this will be a refresher course.

First Week on the Hill? 10 Rules to Live By:

1. There are reporters who have dreams about finding a Member of Congress caught in a scandal. Remember this – you never know who’s watching your actions. Never forget that you represent a Member of Congress. Do you really want that @mail.house.gov email in the Washington Post? How about on Twitter or Facebook? Think twice before you hit send (Or reply all for that matter – not always a good thing to land on the front page of Buzzfeed).

2. Unless you have a title of Press Secretary or Communications Director, don’t spend much time chatting with reporters about the office, the Member or how he spends his time. Please refer to #1.

3. You work for someone who had MILLIONS of dollars spent against her in the primary and the general election. This also included opposition researchers. There are lots of people watching what you do as a staffer. Again, refer to #1.

4. There may be days or constituent calls that don’t make it feel like such, but this is a serious job. This isn’t a college fraternity. Remain professional and treat colleagues with respect and remain professional. Did we mention remain professional? Your next job in leadership or downtown will come from a meeting you have while you’re in this office. We promise.

5. YOUR INTERN TODAY WILL PROBABLY BE YOUR BOSS ONE DAY. This happens all the time. Seriously. So only send them for coffee when it’s a top priority.

6. Your colleagues will likely want to go out drinking. Don’t be the first one there – or the last one to leave. Don’t forget, there are reporters and opposition researchers who like to hang around nearby tables when certain offices get drunk and start loudly complaining about their boss, colleagues or other offices. Again, we cannot stress #1 enough. Also, be the first one into the office the morning after a night out with the staff – or at least beat your boss into the office. (For those heavy hangover days we also suggest keeping a packet of Emergen-c in your desk along with some advil. Have a stacked office drawer and you’ll make plenty of friends with your fellow staffers).

7. The Member’s spouse is more important than the Chief of Staff, Legislative Director and Communications Director combined. Don’t forget it.

8. If one of your colleagues starts sleeping with the boss, don’t start a blog about it. Just update your resume and look for the next move. Again, have we talked about #1?

9. Learn it, live it, love it. Working on Capitol Hill will teach you more about government than a Master’s degree on the same subject. Soak it up.

10. You have an incredible job and one that lots of people would love to have. Enjoy it. Everything passes through Capitol Hill: declarations of war, humanitarian aid, famous athletes, and global celebrities. We live in a great country. There are days when it won’t feel like that, in which case, take a step back, go stand outside, look down the National Mall and remember that you’re living on the front lines of history.

If you run into a situation we didn’t cover, we hear Rebecca Gale is handing out some good hill advice on the regular.

1. You are on the front lines. The first voice people hear when they call the office and the front person there when they walk in.

2. Because you make so much coffee, you’re eligible to opt out of the Starbucks barista test if you decide to change careers.

3. Everyone is forced to know your name or else they don’t get the good office supplies.

4. Nobody uses fax machines anymore.

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1. If Todd Akin gets the slice of king cake with the baby he will ask where the stork went.

2. Joe Biden will flash John Boehner and become outraged when all he receives is a flag pin.

3. You just can’t hang enough beads from the House Gallery. Or Nancy Pelosi’s neck.

4. Obama’s tableau will block the view of VP Biden and John Boehner. And let’s be real, everyone watches for a) Joe’s smile or b) Boehner’s tears.

5. While crazy hats are encouraged on Bourbon Street, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee still won’t fit in.

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Out with the old and in with the new. 84 new to be exact. At 12pm EST today the 113th Congress was sworn in by Joe Biden followed by Rep. Boehner’s re-election as Speaker of the House. Like the first day of high school, the cool kids already knew where to sit at lunch and what to wear. Others, not so much. Some of our favorite commentary on the day’s events:

Total freshman move.

Some of them weren’t kids…

So are we.

But as always, it comes back to Starbucks.

Hard hitting questions.

We’d watch Meet the Veep.

But this won the day.

Washington, D.C. – Robert Griffin, III, known by fans as RG3, spent Monday night  dismantling the  New York football Giants and then convened a bipartisan conference meeting Wednesday morning to solve the fiscal cliff crisis.

“I understand waiting until the last minute to win,” said RG3, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. “The fans and your teammates love a 4th quarter come back or a last-second, heroic victory. However, I think the fiscal cliff is something that we must address now. That is why I am thankful President Obama, Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid all finally sat down today to iron this out.”

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Welcome to our second Famous Feedback, a monthly feature where we ask the folks that live and run this city a question and then post their responses each month. In light of recess putting half the city on vacation (not really, but you know) we thought it would be fun to see what district dwellers love about August recess – a distinctly DC event. Their answers are below.

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