Almost Famous


It’s freshman orientation week in Washington, when all the newly elected Representatives get to meet the party leaders and get intensive training on how to put a staff and congressional office together.

The freshman get to bring along one person — a sort of chief-of-staff-in-training, to help out and learn the ropes. John Hall has tapped Darren Rigger, who he faced in a Democratic primary before going on to defeat Sue Kelly, as his orientation aide.

Rigger just told me that Hall hasn’t officially hired anyone just yet but that he’s “honored and flattered” to be a part of the orientation. “He’s learning, I’m learning. We’re learning how to staff your office, and then how you put together a transition team. People are stunned here when they find out we were in the primary.”

But, according to Rigger, people are more stunned to see singer songwriter Hall “a celebrity -people recognize him from his music.” Rigger said that Hall’s only competition for star of the freshman class is Heath Schuler, a former quarterback for the Washington Redskins who was elected to represent a district in Western North Carolina.

“They are the ones that the staffers get excited about meeting,” he said before cutting the call short. “Nancy Pelosi is coming to the room – cool.”

–Jason Horowitz Almost Famous