Power in Government

Government is fascinating and few know it better than those elected officials who, through ability, ambition, and tenure, rise to occupy leadership positions in Congress. Butler Derrick was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1975 and eventually became the Chief Deputy Majority Whip. He was viewed as the leadership’s key link to the moderate and conservative Democratic wing. One of my favorite quotes is from Derrick, in which he reflected — “Power in a legislative body is not just conferred on you; it’s years and years of building relationships, where people know you stand by your word.” At the time of his retirement in 1995, Derrick was considered one of the ten most influential members of Congress.

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