Monday, November 15, 2010

Can Scott Tipton & Cory Gardner resist Washington?

The freshman class of 2010 was elected with a clear mandate from voters: Don’t be wooed by the ways of Washington.

But as the pomp and circumstance of freshman orientation began, it was already apparent how difficult a challenge that would be.

Over the weekend, new members — most of them Republicans — were shuttled into the modernist marble lobby of the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, where they’ll be crashing during a weeklong starter course on how to be a member of Congress. At check in, they were greeted with Dell laptops and BlackBerry Bolds and canvas bags filled with thick manuals on congressional ethics and guides to life as a House member.

“I’ve looked people in the eye that are having a tough time right now,” said Rep.-elect Scott Tipton (R-Colo.), owner of a Native American pottery company in Colorado’s 3rd District. “I’m not seeing it here in Washington. It’s business as usual. They aren’t suffering like the rest of the country is, and I think that that will be a constant reminder, because this is something that we won’t cure overnight.”

“The biggest difference I see is the isolation of Washington,” said GOP Rep.-elect Cory Gardner of Colorado’s 4th District, a family businessman and former state legislator. “People here, they don’t see the same thing that the rest of the country sees. They don’t feel the same pressure that the rest of the country feels. That’s a big challenge for members and staff and the leadership structure and public affairs people around town.”     - More -

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