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A Staffers Insight

October 16, 2007

This blog is the home of much dialogue about the 2008 elections, the candidates and debate issues. To get a more insightful view into the world of politics I went to the experts. Well, they might not be experts in the sense of conducting research and years of studying, but they work for the politicians. This semester I work on Capitol Hill for my Congressman, Maurice Hinchey form the 22nd district of New York, and the other day I took some time to ask one of the staffers a few questions.

My first question was: does the Congressman support or like one candidate more than the others? The staffer answered by saying that Congressmen do not usually say anything until the nominations are set. This way all the democrats can get behind the democrat and likewise for the republicans. However, since my Representative is from New York he is more or less obligated to support Hillary, but he has said nothing publicly. This answer got me thinking. Everyone gets to say who they like and don’t like and everyone gets to say the issue that is most important to them, expect for our politicians. This is a bit ironic; after all, the members of Congress are going to be the ones that need to work with the next president. If anyone should be guiding the public’s decisions, it should be those who know most of the candidates personally, and in some cases their colleagues.

Another question I asked was about campaign finance. Campaign finance has been the topic of many blogs and I thought I would try to get a deeper insight. I asked the staffer, who is a legislative assistant that handles a variety of domestic issues, what her thoughts were. She believes that too much money is invested into presidential campaigns. Consequently, candidates such Joe Biden, who has tremendous experience and is a great candidate with great ideas, is not given a chance. At the root of the problem are big business and certain interest groups that can donate a lot of money. Raising money is part of the game, she said, but if each candidate was given or allotted a certain amount the game would get more interesting. Spending money would become a strategic game. Since a candidate is only given so much money, it would become more important to do well at debates.

I asked several other questions, however, I felt these went along with the theme of the blog and were the most interesting to examine. So, now we have the view of someone who works in politics. Congressional staffers are the geeks of politics who have a unique insight to the world of politics.

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