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A Glimpse of History: Working for the House Majority Whip in the Early Days of the 111th Congress: Congressional Fellowship Report

  • Bryan W. Marshall (a1)
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The rapidity, duration, and intensity of it all caught me by surprise. Nearly at a full run, I dashed through a corridor and down a winding staircase to my first morning meeting. I took a place along a wall with a few other staff, but my eyes were fixed upon the principals. Gathered around a vast table were the chairs, the majority leader, and my boss—the house majority whip. The discourse was mostly heavy—President Obama's historic election, the burden of leadership, and the daunting task to balance politics and policy in order to deliver on the promises and hopes of the people who sent them. The immediate business was expanding children's health insurance and a stimulus package to turn around an economy teetering on the brink. The majority leader was resolute. Congress would need to deliver bold actions in order to overcome the deep anxiety of the times and to build confidence for the long struggle ahead. The whip was equally resolute as he summoned back hard lessons from lost eras—Roosevelt's New Deal and Truman's Fair Deal. Congress could not allow mistakes of the past to be repeated. With a clear appreciation of history, the whip made the case for a 21st Century New Deal that ensured the poor and most vulnerable would not be left behind. No sooner did I try to reflect upon this special moment and it was time to rush off once again.

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Copyright
References
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Behre, Robert. 2007. “Mr. Clout.” The Post and Courier, February 18, A1.
Brush, Silla. 2007. “Hidden Power on the Hill.” U.S. News and World Report, March 15, 42–43.
Evans, C. Lawrence, and Grandy, Claire E.. 2008. “The Whip Systems of Congress.” In Congress Reconsidered, 9th ed., ed. Dodd, Lawrence C. and Oppenheimer, Bruce I.. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 189215.
Fenno, Richard Jr. 1978. Home Style: House Members in Their Districts. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.
Rogers, David. 2008. “Clyburn Herds a Diverse Flock.” Politico, June 19, 1–2.
Smith, Steven S. 2007. Party Influence in Congress. New York: Cambridge University Press.
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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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