U.S. Senator vs. state senator

From a column by Alan Ehrenhalt:

A 21st-century U.S. senator is, virtually by the nature of the job, a gadfly. He flits from one issue to another, generally developing little expertise on any of them; devoting a large portion of his day to press conferences and other publicity opportunities; following a daily schedule printed on a 3×5 card that a member of his staff has prepared; depending even more heavily on staff for detailed and time-consuming legislative negotiation that he is too busy to attend; and developing few close relationships with his colleagues, nearly all of whom are as busy as he is…

By contrast, what does a state legislator do? At his worst, he is doggedly parochial, someone who tends first and foremost to the interests of a relatively small local constituency. At his best, he keeps all the state’s significant issues in mind, and it is possible to do that in a state legislature in a way that is not possible in Washington.

Read the entire column.

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