THIS MONTH’S WASHINGTONIAN includes a detailed profile of Washington power player, veteran lobbyist, and Bravo star, Edwina Rogers. The 2,500-word portrait depicts Rogers as someone with an eclectic if paradoxical political philosophy (containing such seemingly irreconcilable beliefs as “nontheism” and staunch support for the Bush administration), with an overall emphasis on her unlikely new gig as the Executive Director for The Secular Coalition for America, an atheist interest group. Even best-selling author and biologist Richard Dawkins commented on the hire, calling it “shrewd.”
But the central message of the article is quite different for those of us in the offices of Columbia Books, of which Lobbyists.info and its blog are a division. Our eyes tend to focus not on the words themselves, but rather the accompanying picture. In this, Rogers is wielding a choice prop: The Original U.S. Congress Handbook, which has been published annually by Columbia Books since the Ford administration. This small, glossy directory of incumbent Congressmen has long been a fixture of Washington culture, and is a tool that inner beltway superstars and newcomers alike have sworn by. Apparently Rogers is no exception.
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