Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo once said, “You campaign in poetry; you govern in prose.” Building your freshman office is like writing the first chapter of your Congressional biography. And keep this final thought in mind: When they go to the polls in 2012, voters won’t be thinking about your first six months in office, they’ll be thinking about the last six months. Starting your first term well increases the likelihood you will end your first term well.
Bradford Fitch is the president and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation and the author of “Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.