October 17th, 2016

Right Up My Alley…

Loved the reading in American Politics 6100 for today. We are reading David Mayhew’s “Congress: The Electoral Connection.” I got a later edition, so it had an introduction with some analysis and an update from Mayhew.  Then we read a couple of journal articles using Mayhew’s concept.

Mayhew basically argues, backed up by visits with many members of Congress and research, that elected officials are just about reelection.  Also, that compared to other governing bodies, like parliaments in other countries, being a career long member of Congress in the US is a pretty cushy gig.  In many countries, people don’t want, or can’t afford to be elected for a career time span, but in the US, we give our members a budget and a salary that makes it appealing.

From the introduction of the 2004 edition (this was originally published in 1974) by R. Douglas Arnold:

“Mayhew assumed that legislators were single-minded seekers of reelection and showed how this goal affected the way legislators allocated time, sought publicity, took positions, organized Congress, interacted with each other, dealt with interest groups, and made public policy. It helped, of course, that most congressional scholars found his arguments persuasive…”

Looking forward to a busy day at work.  Monday is staff meeting day and we really get things done and set the tone for the week in these meetings.  I’m not a meeting or report person, but in our office we have one weekly report and a staff and scheduling meeting and then we hit the ground running.

Then, class tonight and study session with other students for the Wednesday midterm in Research Methods.