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Wonder Woman

Controversial Politician Ted Yoho's 24-Year-Old Chief of Staff Could Shake Things Up

by Jenny Erikson on January 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

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

Filed Under: 2012 election, discrimination, election, feminism, in the news, law, media, politics, tea party

Comments

2
  • allam...
    --

    allamarane

    January 17, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    I have a lot of respect for those who are willing to jump into the game instead of complaining from the sidelines.  But to be honest, it'll be an incredibly steep learning curve.  The chief of staff's job is to manage the office and advise their official.  Here's hoping Cammack hires *someone* who has an idea of the procedures, rules of order and other logistical things that are needed in order to do anything.  The people of Florida will have a rude awakening if the representative who promised change proves unable to get anything accomplished because his "head cheerleader" doesn't know how to file amendments.


  • chris...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    chris summerlin

    January 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM
    Oh, Kat and Ted definitely know "how" to file amendments and propose legislation. Early in the primary, Ted told us that any legislation he will propose and/or support-endorse will need to be written first as stand-alone legislation without "pork" or extraneous, unrelated add-ons, and will be in plain language, not government speech. Will he enjoy support from the entrenched representatives who are there to play the same old game as usual, I doubt it, but there are a few (more each election cycle) who recognize that the system is broken and continuing to do the same old thing isn't going to solve the problems in DC. Go Ted (and Kat)!
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