Homestyle and Washington CareerHow does an electedrepresentative’s view of his/her constituency affect his or her politicalbehavior? This is the troubling question that Eichard F. Fenno Jr. trys touncover an answer to in his passage Homestyle and Washington Career.
For Fennoto answer this he first identified what a member of congress’s goals were. Hebelievesthe three main goals are re-election, good public policy, and power incongress. Re-election has more to do with a congressmember’s constituency career. While powerin congress and good public policy have more todo with their Washington career.
Secondly Fenno had to explain the differentways that Members ofcongress might view their constituency. Below is a chart that shows the different ways Constituency Career and Washington Careercould be viewed as: Constituency Career More common of newer congress members Mindful of constituents Re-election is the primary goal Return home more frequently than senior members A larger portion of staff is in home districts Usually leave family behind more often than senior members Focus on a constituency career can leave members feeling as if they haven’t had much power or influence in Washington Washington Career More common among incumbents Less attention payed to home district Two major goals are to have influence in congress and to make good public policy Involvement in politics is fueled more by their personal desire and attitudes Spends a majority of time in Washington, less visits to home district Less staff members are from their home district Thirdly, there are solutions. Onesolution could be BalancingHomestyle and Washington Career byOrganizing districts to make things easier in Washington and Increase number of district staff to make up for ownabsence. Another possible solutionis making one’s influence in Washington the center of their homestyle career.
This would require constituents to adopt new set of expectations.Lastly, gain new supporters to compensate forloss by using influence inWashington to alter support patterns in home districts