Newly elected congressional Democrats had just a week to savor their victories before coming face to face with a harsh reality of Washington.
At a party-sponsored orientation session, the freshmen — many still giddy from winning close races in which they espoused grand plans to change the Capitol’s toxic atmosphere — were schooled in their party’s simple list of priorities for them.
Raise money. Raise more. Win.
The newcomers were told to devote at least four hours each day to the tedious task of raising money — so-called dialing for dollars — so they could build a war chest and defend their seats, according to those present. That’s twice as much time as party leaders expect them to dedicate to committee hearings and floor votes, or meetings with constituents.
Some members were flabbergasted. One rolled his eyes and walked out of the room.