Running a marathon is a lot like preparing to run in an election: The goal is to train hard, establish a group of supporters and ultimately win.
“I ran a half-marathon during the campaign cycle, and election night was the same kind of feeling,” said Lisa Boothe, who was working with the National Republican Congressional Committee during the midterm elections. “You’re working hard and training for something, and once you cross that finish line, it’s a relief because you’re finally there. It’s a feeling of great accomplishment.”
Boothe has always worked hard to accomplish her goals, whether it was winning a state lacrosse championship in high school or landing her current job as communications director for freshman Rep. Sandy Adams. But just like a marathon runner, the 25-year-old has been training for her press gig with the Florida Republican for several years.
After receiving a political science degree from the University of Tennessee, Boothe started as a staff assistant with Rep. Frank Wolf in December 2007. Her job duties for the Virginia Republican — other than “saving the world one flag request at a time” — included conducting Capitol tours and corresponding with constituents, which is where she learned the basics of working on Capitol Hill.
“You really learn a lot doing that job,” she said. “You get to learn a Congressional office. You get to know the constituents. I learned how to help reporters. I learned how to talk to people and listen.”
But Boothe was determined to break into the media side of politics. She networked with communications directors, wrote practice press releases and joined the Republican Communications Association.
The hard work eventually landed her a press gig with the NRCC in 2009, where she really earned her stripes in political media. Throughout the yearlong stint, Boothe’s most gratifying moment came the night of the midterm elections, where she worked in the war room monitoring the races from 9 a.m. to 6 a.m. the next day. The 21-hour workday was fueled by a stream of adrenaline, caffeine and cheering. “It was one of the coolest nights I’ve ever experienced,” she said. “It was surreal. You’re working for something so hard, and then to have it actually happen is just the most amazing experience you could ask for.”
But the Clifton, Va., native knew she wanted to eventually get back to the Hill. Her father, who was a lobbyist for 11 years, used to take her to Congressional hearings when she was younger, and Boothe was hooked on the idea of working there.
In November, she knew it was the perfect opportunity to get back to the Hill. Boothe interviewed with several Members before being hired by Adams, whose race she had followed closely. “I wanted to work for her because she stands firm in what she believes,” Boothe said.
Since starting Jan 3., Boothe has been in charge of all messaging and communications for the new office. But even though she has only been at the job for three weeks, it’s already familiar to her.
“I’m literally working on the same floor in Cannon as I was working on when I was with Frank Wolf,” she said. “I’m walking in the same door. I’m saying ‘Hi’ to the same Capitol Police officers I used to talk to. It’s almost like coming home.”
Submit news of hires and promotions on Capitol Hill to Hill Climbers here.