“First and foremost, constituents come first and they always will come first, no matter what office I’m in,” said Kim Rubin, the scheduler and office manager for Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.
Rubin has seen plenty of constituents and members in a Capitol Hill career that first started with an internship with Rep. Jack Kemp, R-N.Y., in the 1980s; she’s been with Bachmann since the Minnesota Republican was first elected in 2006.
“I’ve been with her since day one,” Rubin said.
Scheduling for and managing the office of a high-profile member of Congress could never be a nine-to-five kind of job, but Rubin, who has two daughters, isn’t a complainer.
“It’s just constant. It’s 24/7. I know that; I’m very comfortable with that,” she said.
It also helps to have a boss who is understanding of the needs of family and home commitments, she said.
In addition to making sure Bachmann’s schedule is a go, Rubin manages the schedules of the other staffers and the district office, oversees the office budget and pays the bills. It’s a set of skills she has been honing since starting as a staff assistant for Rep. William S. Broomfield, R-Mich.
In an office that’s often the center of media attention and with a member who certainly isn’t afraid of controversy, Rubin doesn’t let any crisis bother her for too long.
“It’s usually not something that’s going to linger. It’s just happening at that point,” she said. “I try not to get into the heat of the moment.”
But that doesn’t mean she’s willing to let the ball drop where her role in the office in concerned.
“If something doesn’t go right, I take that personally. It’s my job to make sure the day flows,” she said.
And some days, Rubin acknowledged, with the kind of level-headed and calm approach that’s needed in a busy office, you just have to “roll with the punches.”
“If I can reach out to someone in the office or if I need more information from the congresswoman or anything, I easily go up to them and say, ‘OK, can you help me here?’”
In 2012, Rubin took a break from the congressional office to work on Bachmann’s presidential campaign.
“I know what details are like on the congressional side, but to see what goes into each day and how many people are involved, and the logistics — it was just fascinating,” she said.
“In a way, I’m giving back too — I care about our country and I’m part of the process,” she added.
And the grueling schedule and dedication to her job pay off when she sees that she’s passed her own work ethic to her daughters, the same way her mother and grandmother inspired her to go into public service, she said.
At a recent career day in school, her 10-year-old daughter expressed a desire to “maybe get into politics like Mom.”
“It made me very proud,” Rubin said.
And that’s what it all comes down to for her.
“Faith, family and pursuing something that makes you happy.”
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