INDIANAPOLIS – Because nothing screams that you’re ready to race against the establishment like an eight-page memo describing the rigorous chauffeuring you’ll need to get to the starting line, Politico today is out with a report detailing an “agonizing” leaked memo on driving Congressman Rokita in his district. It’s hard to blame Congressman Rokita for not spending more time in Washington after hearing the luxe accommodation he’s driven in when back in his district: the memo details that his car be stocked with everything from a toiletry bag to Lozenges-brand cough drops, and one more thing – just because you’re driving him, that doesn’t mean you can talk to him unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Empty his trash. Always have hand sanitizer and gum at the ready. And don’t bother with “unnecessary conversation” — the congressman doesn’t have time for your chit-chat.
The latest addition to the list: Rep. Todd Rokita, an Indiana Republican running in one of next year’s most competitive Senate races.
Who knew it could take eight pages of instructions on how to properly escort a member of Congress around his district? Yet there it is, laid out in mind-blowing detail, in a memo obtained by POLITICO that’s sure to make any young, eager-beaver political aide shudder.
Tasks listed in the document, entitled “Instructions on Staffing and Driving — District Version,” include handing Rokita a cup of black coffee upon picking him up at his home, acting as a physical barrier between him and trackers looking to capture embarrassing footage of the congressman, and “avoid[ing] sudden acceleration or braking” while driving.
“The goal is to provide as smooth a ride as possible,” reads the instruction manual, co-authored by a former chief of staff to the congressman and Tim Edson, Rokita’s ex-communications director turned campaign spokesman.
Drivers are expected to transport not only Rokita’s toothbrush and toothpaste but also stock and tote around the district a nearly 20-item supply box that Rokita’s staffers call “the football.” The contents include gum, hand sanitizer, business cards, bottled water, napkins and Kleenex, Lozenges-brand cough drops, a stapler and stapler remover, Post-it notes and Shout wipes, among other items.
Staffing Rokita’s events seems to be a task made for Superman. Drivers are expected to collect contact information from “as many people as possible” and ensure the information is “quickly entered in to the relevant databases.” At the same time, they’re supposed to be taking pictures for social media, “notes of all interactions” Rokita has with constituents, identifying reporters and sending Rokita’s communications director a summary of exchanges he has with the press.