Whenever former members of Congress get together, they trade tales from the good old days of Capitol Hill camaraderie.
Hearing these stories is a little like listening to a grandfather talk about walking uphill to school both ways in the snow.
It was no different Tuesday morning, when former senators Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and former congressman Dan Glickman (D-Kan.) released the second installment of their quarterly Healthy Congress Index that uses various criteria to assess the effectiveness of today’s Capitol Hill.
The quartet’s panel discussion, hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, hailed an idyllic era when there were more joint caucus meetings, Washington workdays, and bipartisan congressional travel. They remembered fondly when living and playing in Washington was part of the job, not a career detriment.
At the end of a day of legislating, Lott said, they’d be “drinking old Granddads and smoking cheap cigars and playing gin rummy in what we called the medicine room in the Capitol. You don’t have that anymore.”