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We’re Trying Something New. This Is ‘On Politics.’

Category: Political News,Politics

It’s an ambitious idea, and we’ll need your help. As I said before, I’m new here.

I’ve been a political reporter for over a decade, covering presidential campaigns, Congress and the White House. But I’ve never written a newsletter — certainly not a daily one. (Did we mention? We’re daily! Every morning we’ll round up the day’s biggest stories, and every evening I’ll help you make sense of the madness.)

So, to mark our first day trying something new, we decided to ask for tales of other beginnings — and get a bit of advice, too.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, called from her kitchen in Cambridge to tell us this story:

When I was young, my Aunt Bea would get me one outfit for the first day of school. This was a really big treat and it was our tradition every year. When I’m in fifth grade, I pick out a really cool number with a straight skirt and a vest that matches. They’re wool.

This is Oklahoma. It’s September. It’s hot. Really hot.

I get up on my first day of school and my mother said, ‘You can’t wear that. It’s going to be 90 degrees outside.’ Of course, I insisted and wore it.

I can still remember how miserable I was sweating through that first day. The backs of my legs were stuck on that itchy wool skirt. Sweat dripped down my legs. When I got home, my mother said, ‘How was it wearing your outfit on the first day?’ I said, ‘It was just great.’

When you determine something’s going to be great, it will be great.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida offered up this:

My first day on the job after my freshman year in high school was a disaster. I was working as a messenger and courier. And after three parking tickets and an accident with a fender bender with a postal carrier, I was a whole month’s worth of pay in the hole — after just one day.

Representative Nancy Pelosi, the first female speaker of the House, told us:

When I went to my first meeting as leader of House Democrats with President Bush, I thought this was an ordinary meeting at the White House. But when I went through the door, I realized it was unlike any other meeting I had ever been to, or any woman had ever been to, because there it was, the leadership of our country, all men, and I, as a woman, having a seat at the table. As President Bush welcomed me there, I felt very closed in to my seat.

I couldn’t figure out what it was, and then I realized — there I was with Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul. All the suffragettes who fought so hard for the right to vote. And as they sat with me on that chair, I could hear them say, ‘At last we have a seat at the table.’ And then they were gone.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, said:

My first day as speaker of the House, at about 7 a.m., I went out on the speaker’s balcony and I looked down the mall and I thought, it is amazing that an army brat could end up being speaker of the House. I had no money. I had no connections. And yet, there I was.

My advice to anyone starting something new: Cheerful persistence.

We’ll end with the most simple advice, a perennial favorite of Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, which he once dispensed to me at a cocktail party:

Don’t [expletive] it up.


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