Heard on the Hill: Will New Members Be C’s or D’s?

Posted January 7, 2011 at 5:36pm

After the reading of the Constitution on the House floor Thursday, a group of new Members of Congress traveled to the National Archives to view the actual Constitution. But they didn’t merely view the historic document — they also had to listen to speeches about the importance of bipartisanship from ex-Members, including Sens. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Rep. Dan Glickman (D-Kan.).

Bipartisanship. Not exactly the take-on-Washington message put out by many Congressional campaigns last year, is it?

An HOH spy who attended the event, sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center, says the speakers were situated between Members and the Constitution — meaning Members couldn’t avoid hearing the advice. Daschle shared wisdom from the late Sen. Claude Pepper (D-Fla.), who said Members shouldn’t focus on being “D’s or R’s,” but rather on being “C’s or D’s,” constructive or destructive.

Glickman tells HOH that he relayed advice given to him by former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, “which was fight every battle like it was the most important battle of your life, but after it’s over, go shake hands with your adversary.”

But will new Members actually listen? “I think they are just going to have to experience it for themselves,” Glickman says.