Politician: A Day in the Life

Today, the legislature is in session, as it is for half the year.


Today, the legislature is in session, as it is for half the year. You're a state senator, and on arriving at your office in the Capitol, your first appointment is with a lobbyist from a road construction company that donated money to your last campaign. He urges you to vote for a transportation bill that would emphasize roads over public transit. He shows you some data suggesting that most people hate public transit and won't use it. After he leaves, you wonder if you've been convinced on the merits or because you feel you owe him.

The debate on the transportation bill continues on the Senate floor. An influential senator taps you on the shoulder and asks you to step outside. He offers a quid pro quo: something you want in exchange for your support on the transportation bill.

After you cast your vote, there's a discussion of the governor's budget. When there's a recess, you and your chief aide plan a speech you'll make tomorrow on the topic.

You leave the Capitol to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new school you helped get funded. This part you enjoy—like most politicians, you've never met a microphone you didn't like.

Then you're off to a rubber-chicken fundraising dinner, followed by a long drive home; your district, like most, is large, and you're usually far from where you live.