Sunday, July 1, 2012

Vocabulary for Capital Hill Interns

Ask (n.) – A request, often the focal point of a meeting.
“What’s your ask, Ms. Lobbyist?”
“As always, my ask is funding.”

Ownership (n.) –  A feeling of investment in, and responsibility for, the outcome of a particular project; a feeling that the success of a particular project will make one look good in others' eyes. Hill staffers try to encourage politicians, and other staffers, to feel ownership of projects such as bills and events, as someone feeling ownership of a project is more likely to put in continuous effort to ensure the project's success.
"This regulation is Joe's baby, but his boss doesn't feel the same kind of ownership over it."

One-pager (n.) – A memo or document which is only one page (one side) in length. “Two-pagers” (two sides, or one page double-spaced) also exist, but are less popular than one-pagers because they take twice as long to read.
“I don’t have time to read this 73-page document – why don’t you read it and write me a one-pager that sums it up?”

To be in the weeds (v.) –  To discuss or debate the fine details of an expansive and complicated "bigger picture," for example a law, regulation, or legal decision. People are likely to use this phrase when they feel that a discussion has become too technical and jargon-heavy, or when they find the details being discussed unimportant.
“Should we start the event at 8:00, or 8:05?”
“Woah, you’re really in the weeds here! I think we should focus out first and decide what we want to do at the event.”

To run something up the flagpole (v.) – To pass along a message or idea to one's boss, boss's boss, etc., until it reaches the top of the chain of command.
“What you’re asking me for isn’t really my decision, but I’ll run it up the flagpole.”

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