April 17, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Bertie Bowman's Long Senate Journey

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call
Bowman ran away from his family’s farm as a boy and has spent the decades since rubbing elbows with presidents and senators. He started working in the Capitol as a janitor and is now a Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer (who drives a cab in his downtime).

Bowman is working on a letter he plans to send to Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., with whom he is also close from when he was chairman of the committee, inviting them to lunch in the committee’s hearing room or anteroom.

Bowman said he last saw Obama at the unveiling of the Rosa Parks statue at the Capitol in February, when he poked him about forgetting the little people. He also mentioned lunch.

In his book, Bowman talks about the “downstairs staff” where he started in his career. He wants them to get recognition they are due for all the hard work they have done over the years.

He intends to try to get some of the photographs of staff he has hung up in Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center. But he needs a senator to sponsor a resolution to do so, something he hopes to bring up with Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

“If I get the time, I’m going to try to talk to the chairman. I’ll start there,” Bowman said.

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