House Rules: A Freshman Congressman's Initiation to the Backslapping, Backpedaling, and Backstabbing Ways of Washington

Robert Cwiklik, Author
Robert Cwiklik, Author Villard Books $20 (257p) ISBN 978-0-394-58231-3
Hardcover - 978-0-517-09812-7
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In 1988 Peter Hoagland of Omaha, a Democrat, was elected to his first term in the House of Representatives by a narrow margin. He had previously served in the Nebraska legislature and was familiar with the way such bodies operate and with the politician's philosophy of ``to get along, go along.'' As a Capitol Hill freshman he was deferential to those with seniority and cast few votes that might upset the leaders. He was named to the Banking Committee and immediately had to wrestle with the complex S & L bailout, explained thoroughly by Cwiklik, ex-editor for the D.C. bureau of Ottaway News Service. Readers watch Hoagland as he realizes that he cannot vote his conscience on every issue but must ``weigh the amount of political capital he could afford to spend.'' That he succeeded is verified by his landslide reelection. The impression of Congress received here is disturbing, with elected representatives concerned almost exclusively with staying in office. Hoagland, unfortunately, is shown to fit the profile. (Jan.)
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