With just hours to go before he officially cuts ties with Congress, GOP aide Philip Minardi took a little time to reflect on the rollercoaster ride that is working on Capitol Hill.
The House flack, who most recently handled press for Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., will be juggling communications duties for the Travel Technology Association starting Monday.
Minardi told HOH there are a number of things he’ll miss about working on the Hill.
At the top of that list sit the House members he’d most like a to grab a burger with, a solidly Republican roster that includes Paulsen and Reps. Peter Roskam of Illinois, Kevin McCarthy of California, Lynn Jenkins of Kansas and Adrian Smith of Nebraska.
“It has been an immense privilege to work for a member who cares deeply about his community and staff. We’ve all had to pull late nights and early mornings, but every day I got to work with my coworkers, fellow staffers and communicators, and tenacious reporters was a blast,” Minardi shared of his days with Team Paulsen. “It’s been an incredible ride!”
Professional relationships aside, relinquishing his staff ID means Minardi will also have to turn his back on two cherished activities.
“Having the ability to give friends and family tours of the U.S. Capitol Building is a perk I’ll miss most. It was always a treat to see their reactions as they walked into the rotunda,” he said. “Also, checking out books from the Library of Congress.”
No word on whether his new gig comes with an expense account. But Minardi does not appear to have any problems with dining on the cheap.
Here on campus, he favored the Cannon Cafeteria. “Not only are the lines manageable, but it has the single best snack in the Capitol Complex: black and white cookies,” he asserted.
A pair of local watering holes remain near and dear for other reasons.
“You’d be hard pressed to find a Hill staffer who hasn’t spent many a happy hour throwing a few back at Capitol Lounge. But, if you want to experience the place in a unique way, head over during lunch, saddle up to the bar, grab an order of fish and chips, and shoot the breeze with Suzie,” he suggested, pegging the veteran barkeep as a terrific listener.
His other retreat: the Dubliner.
“You can’t beat a place that pours a great pint and has live music every night of the week,” the Chi-Town native said of the well-lived-in Irish pub.