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Street Talk: Farming a Team of Former Members Does Not Guarantee a Win

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Former Members of Congress such as former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole are highly valued by clients who hope to build connections with official Washington. However, gathering support from former Members does not always guarantee wins.

And he is penning his memoirs, he said, hoping to finish a first draft next month. The working title "Memoirs of a Transvesticrat" comes from a moniker Senator-turned-lobbyist John Breaux (D-La.) gave him. It will chronicle his 25 years in politics, he said, and his battle with abdominal cancer.

His doctors gave him less than 1 percent chance of surviving. They opted for an experimental treatment, using the colon-cancer drug Avastin off-label. Tauzin endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy, even after he had started at PhRMA. He said prayer and the advice of Lance Armstrong to get outside and work helped him survive. "I'd get on my backhoe and my tractors, and I'd get in the hot sun," he said.

"I'm not only alive, I'm healthier than I was when I was in Congress," added Tauzin. "I'm 69, I get on the tennis court and they haven't beat me yet."

Tauzin called his colleague Lincoln a natural at the advocacy business. But she says it's been a difficult adjustment. After losing her re-election bid in 2010, she said she met with other ex-lawmakers who had gone downtown.

"Most of them said, 'It's gonna take you a minimum of two years to make a transition," Lincoln, 51, said. "It's a different world."

Dole, who scoffs at the idea of retirement, and the other former Members have helped, she added.

Pomeroy, who also lost in 2010, explained the difference this way: "In Congress, they're lined up down the hall to see you. When you're in a law firm, you've got to make things happen."

Though Pomeroy registers to lobby, Lincoln has not - she is still under a two-year ban from lobbying her former colleagues. But she serves as a spokeswoman for the National Federation of Independent Business's campaign for sensible regulations. "If we want to grow our economy, we've got to create an environment that small businesses can thrive in," she said.

When asked whether she would ever make a return to elective office, she first said no, then laughed and said, "I don't know."

Pomeroy, though, who answers his own phone and went to the trouble of being admitted to the D.C. Bar, says he's hung up his partisan jersey for good.

"We may have had some considerable experience about the ways of Capitol Hill, but there's an awful I've got to learn about being a lawyer in Washington, D.C.," Pomeroy, 59, said. "This is my day job and my weekend job, this is what I do. I've really enjoyed trying to learn a new career."

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