With Democrats controlling the 110th Congress – their first time in the majority in both Houses in years, and the historic election to the Speaker’s podium of Nancy Pelosi being televised on many channels today, much of the behind the scenes celebrating is where the cameras do not go – receptions and open “houses” across the Hill.
IPA staff attending these events will take you behind the scenes to the schmoozing and relationship building so crucial to getting actual work done in the Congress.
From Nathan Diament, IPA Director:
My first event was the swearing in reception hosted by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), recently elected to his 9th term (that’s nine 6 year terms). Today, as well, Senator Kennedy takes over chairmanship of the Senate‘s Health, Education and Labor Committee , which will beso critical to passage of religious liberty legislation, such as WRFA, and other priority items for our community.
While here, I chatted with Senator McCain (R-AZ) and shared a moment about his recent receipt of an honorary degree from Yeshiva U. Then the “rock star” of the moment (and a Harvard Law classmate of mine) arrived – Senator Barack Obama (D-IL).
As Senator Kennedy prepared to address the crowd, I couldn’t help but think of President Kennedy’s ringing words, now closing in on a half century themselves – about “the torch” being passed to a new generation as I watched the energy in the room of Kennedy fans equally split between the liberal lion and the new generation’s bright star.
What comes next is yet to be seen…
It’s on to Sen Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) reception next. Stay tuned.