Sign up FAST! Login

Departure of GOP operatives could imperil debt-limit talks - The Washington Post

Stashed in: politics

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Kumar, a 13-year veteran from Dallas who got his start with former senator Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) and has since served a series of GOP Senate leaders, has been at McConnell’s side through every major fiscal deal since President Obama took office. He is taking time off to be a stay-at-home dad to his 3-year-old daughter, Kiera. Friday is his last day.

In a tribute on the Senate floor, McConnell called Kumar “indispensable,” the rare person “who combines a brilliant mind for policy and a brilliant mind for politics in one package.” He added: “A lot of senators will miss him every bit as much as I will.”

“If you have to do business with the dark side, it’s better to negotiate with an evil genius than with someone who only knows how to say no and doesn’t understand the details,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to offer a candid assessment.

The debt drama has been particularly grueling, he said. Two moments stand out.

The first came during the debt-limit fight in July 2011. It was Saturday, three days before the deadline for default. Kumar was deep into negotiations that would end the crisis. Suddenly, Chapman was on the phone in tears: Her father had been diagnosed with bladder cancer.

“She thinks he’s going to die. But I’m stuck. I have the full faith and credit of the federal government riding on my shoulders. . . . She didn’t even ask me to come home,” he said. “I don’t know if she remembers that day, but I remember it, because it was the day I failed her as a husband.”

“She immediately started crying and saying, ‘Daddy, come home. Daddy, come home,’ ” Kumar recalled. Later, with Kiera safely asleep, Chapman told him: “Whenever you’re ready to be done with this, I’m not going to stop you.”

Chapman, 41, said the FaceTime incident came in the midst of “a week of hell, as far as I was concerned. Rohit was buying hot dogs to roast in the office fireplace so they could eat at odd hours.” And every night, Kiera went to bed asking for Daddy.

Chapman, a Democrat who works on affordable housing for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, had in the past encouraged her husband to stay in the job he clearly loved. “Despite the fact that I don’t agree with Senator McConnell’s view of the world on just about anything, he’s been very good to my husband,” she said.

more stories need to cover the workers/brains behind the elected officials.  

I just love the phrase "I don’t agree with Senator McConnell’s view of the world on just about anything."

You May Also Like: