Belland is constantly aware that everything she does is a reflection on Kline, who, she said, as chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, gets more appearance requests than other members she’s previously worked for.
But by and large, Belland’s day is about emails — the “hundreds of emails” she receives requesting Kline for one event or another. And it takes constant attention to keep on top of them all. “Every so often I want to sit down and count them,” she said.
While each request goes through a lengthy review process, Belland is the first point of contact for so many people contacting the office.
“I always contact the person right away to let them know I got the request — to buy me some time,” she said.
But it’s not just about buying time. Belland is constantly aware that everything she does is a reflection on Kline, who, she said, as chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, gets more requests than other members she’s previously worked for.
“I don’t want someone, you know, waiting for an email response from me just because I’m stressed out or busy,” she said.
Most of the time, Belland doesn’t attend events with Kline, whom she describes as very independent in that regard, but she does on occasion drive him to events.
“If it’s something that’s fun, he’ll say, ‘Do you want to come in with me?’ or I’ll just wait and he’ll run in and do the event and then I’ll bring him back to the Capitol.”
Belland describes Kline as “talented” particularly when it comes to retaining detailed information.
“The information that the staff throws at him, and he just retains all of it — I can’t even believe it.”
Five years down the line, Belland would be happy to still be in Washington. Although, a home bird at heart and bursting with Minnesota pride, she wonders if D.C. might not be the best place to “get married and have kids.”
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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.