Jonathan Lipman, the new communications director for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, covered politics in Chicago before changing sides to work on Capitol Hill.
“When I applied for the job [with Bean], they asked if I thought I could handle Washington politics,” he said. “I said ‘With all due respect, this ain’t Cook County. I’ll be fine. Chicago politics are a little more rough and tumble, even in Washington.’”
The staffer started his job with Shaheen on Dec. 6. Before he can dig into his new responsibilities, Lipman joked that he still needs to work on basics, such as finding the Senate-side cafeterias and learning how to transfer phone calls.
Lipman is excited to work for the Senate because it offers political communicators a bigger megaphone than the House does. Mostly, though, he enjoys participating in politics, instead of just watching it.
“I was really excited to get off the sidelines. I spent years watching and writing about politics and government, and I always thought about ways we could do it better,” he said. “I wanted to stop throwing spitballs and be a part of the solution. I am incredibly fortunate to be where I am today.”
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Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.