Roby is impressive on the job
Congresswoman Martha Roby sat down with me last week to talk about how things are going in Washington and she listened to our concerns on several matters important to us that she will deal with in Congress.
Some 90-plus days into the job, Roby has made herself known at the microphone as one of the new fresh Republican faces who were swept into office last November in what has become known as the biggest congressional turnaround in modern times.
She defeated sitting Democrat Bobby Bright, a moderate whose first vote in Congress, for former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was a death blow.
It just didn’t happen in Bright’s race, but to many moderate Democrats who thought they were in sync with voters. Influences from the Tea Party and conservative groups all over the country propelled this young group of Republican challengers into office.
In the end they delivered a message that voters wanted to hear in their campaign speeches against the policies of President Barack Obama and his health care reform.
The anti-Obama vote represented the largest anti-presidential backlash in history. Even embattled Watergate President Richard Nixon did not face the number of congressional losses that Obama suffered. Consequently, House Republicans gained a majority in Congress and enough Senate Democrats were defeated to prevent the president’s agenda from being railroaded through any longer.
Evidence of that negative Obama backlash has continued with this new group of Republicans, who delivered the message that Washington is on a spending frenzy that must be stopped. Facing trillions in a federal deficit and cutting budgets that raise the deficit rather than control it, Roby has been an integral part of the votes to turn around the spending craziness that has our economy in a pickle.
A stylish Southern lady of every sort, Roby is personable, with an aristocratic presence, who is impressive on her feet. She can hold her own with the good ole Southern boys and the male-dominated hierarchy of the Republican Party.
Considering she is the first woman to win in a district historically controlled by powerful men, Roby’s message is refreshing, and it reverberates across the district as a vote for her constituents. She truly comes off as a person who cares about the people who elected her.
That’s not to say Bright, former Congressman Terry Everett or even Rep. Bill Dickinson were not constituent driven. But Roby readily admits she got this job because her constituents sent her to Washington for a reason.
You can see it in her demeanor and her thoughtfulness when she listens to your interests. It places you in a comfort zone that is pleasing as a voter and as an American who is interested in issues like the Farm Bill, conservation and postal issues.
She has made good staff appointments, and her naming of Jennifer Warren as legislative director sent a strong message that she wanted somebody who knew the ropes in Congress and could help get her legislative agenda heard.
Warren served as legislative director for three Republican congressmen, including Rep. Everett. She worked with Everett on the 2008 Farm Bill, which speaks volumes for Warren’s qualifications.
Roby does not come off as an extremist when discussing Washington spending cuts. She supports keeping Social Security and Medicare solvent, an issue she admits is important because “we have to keep our promises to our seniors.”
She is concerned about health care reform and the issues it will cause for small businesses, and protecting the interests of military men and women in her district is high on her list of agenda items.
With continuing budget resolutions being necessary to keep the country functioning, Roby faces many more important decisions.
After an enjoyable sit down with her, she fits in this job the way the electorate would expect and wanted. As a constituent whose business is in her district, we feel comfortable with her start and her plans. That is what she promised when she went to Washington, and we like it.
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