Kat Cammack is the 24-year-old girl wonder in House freshman Ted Yoho’s congressional office. The former pageant girl and head cheerleader is the unlikely congressman’s chief of staff, and she’s hoping to shake things up on the Hill.
Ted Yoho isn’t exactly what you’d expect to find roaming the halls of the Capitol, so it makes sense that his chief of staff isn’t either. He doesn’t come from the typical background of a lifelong career in politics or law -- he comes from the farm. Literally. Prior to challenging 12-term Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns in the primary last August, Yoho spent 30 years as a large animal veterinarian.
No one expected him to win. Stearns was a solid conservative representing the deep red third district in northern Florida. Yoho didn’t have the funding, name recognition, or endorsements that Stearns did -- but he did have a message. He connected to the voters by telling them, “Career politicians created this mess, or at least they didn’t do anything to prevent it.”
It was a long shot for sure. He didn’t have a team of professionals to run his campaign; he had his niece’s friend, who agreed to take the job with “the worst conditions imaginable.” Kat said, “I Googled him, saw a terrible website, and saw that he was going against a 12-term congressman with millions in the bank ... I called him back and said I’d take the job.” She was the only full-time employee on staff for the entirety of the campaign.
We all take crudy jobs with low pay when we’re just starting out, and I think it’s so cool that this chick is getting the opportunity to help her boss change Washington from the inside. Critics of Yoho and his young staffer say this is a case of the blind leading the blind, but I think it’s refreshing to see ‘real’ people in politics for a change.
There’s a bubble in D.C., and it becomes increasingly difficult for the legislative elite to get outside of it to connect with their constituents. How can they make laws to benefit the people they represent when they have almost no contact with them? This is how we get things like Obamacare, which the majority of Americans opposed.
Cammack believes they really can change the game. She told a reporter, “I don’t care if things have been the same here for decades ... my motto is to go big or go home. I didn’t come up here to be like any other chief, I didn’t come here to fall into the crowd.”
I say, “You go, girl."
Do you think Kat Cammack’s youth is an asset or a liability?
Image via geetarchurchy/Flickr