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foamhands
03-26-2014, 05:45 PM
Hi all,

I'm trying to establish a timeline for the career development of one of my characters. I need her to be an American senator, a fairly young one. What steps would a person take, in terms of employment and education? Right now, I have given her a law degree and a position as state public advocate. Am I on the right track? I should mention this is near future-ish, and that she is a member of a newly strengthened Independent party.

Thanks!

King Neptune
03-26-2014, 05:57 PM
How young is "fairly young" for her as senator? If she went through the public prosecutor route it would take her quite a while, because she would have to take her turn along with the rest in that area. Private practice, academia (Obama), and becoming a hack early on may work better. The academic and non-profit routes often run more quickly.

Going with a new party might make the non-profit route or private practice route work better, especially if the non-profit and the party have common roots. If the party has a distinct idealogy, then a goodly book would help her along.

I assume that you have read some biographies.

Trebor1415
03-26-2014, 06:14 PM
What is a "state public advocate," a prosecutor? Not familiar with the term.

If you need her to be a prosecutor you can just create a "perfect storm" of events that made her a great canidate and got her into the Senate at a young age.

Maybe she got a conviction in a case closely watched by the media and the public which got her some name recognition and political traction.

Combine that with a Senate seat unexpectedly opening up when the sitting Senator dies. Maybe she got appointed to the remainder of that term (because of her popularity and political patronage) and than won the next election.

Or, there was redistricting that opened up a House seat that she ran for, and won, and then in the next Senate election the sitting Senator had a scandal and she ran against him and won.

There's so much variety that I think readers will accept almost anything, as long as you give them some justification to do so.

Telergic
03-26-2014, 06:42 PM
Since you have an Independent Senator, who knows what her path might be -- normally there aren't any such. Usually I would say there's two paths for party politicians:

1) Buying the job. Most Senators are multimillionaires at least, and some of them are ultrarich and just massively outspend their opponents for air time and PAC patronage.

2) Come up through the ranks, most often with a seat in the House for a couple of terms. Getting to the House itself is obviously nontrivial and usually requires an apprenticeship in the local political organization for a while, perhaps a term or two in the state house, but again it can be bought.

An Independent would have to be hugely, almost insanely popular in her state to get anywhere versus the destructive power of the party machines and their purchased media outlets. If she personally was responsible for saving the state capitol from a terrorist attack, maybe.... The alternative is she was a leading representative of one party or another and turned coat, perhaps due to some other faction, like Tea Party vs. mainstream Republican, or whatever it was motivated Lieberman in CT.

However, you say "Independent Party" by which I suppose you mean a third party, not Independent. These parties are always populist, and must be led by someone who is either ultrarich or the leader of some existing charismatic movement. In US history they sputter and fail rather quickly, but conceivably your Senator is a personal friend of the leader of the new party and thus was tapped to lead the fight in some heartland area in which the populist movement has taken hold.

Lauram6123
03-26-2014, 07:26 PM
When you mentioned young(ish) and female, it made me think of Mary Landrieu. Here's a little about her...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Landrieu

foamhands
03-28-2014, 09:44 PM
Thanks, everyone. I like the idea of the non-profit route, maybe something on the more glamorous, press-friendly side. And thanks for the Mary Landrieu suggestion--I'd actually thought of her as a model, but want my senator to be younger, early forties.

King Neptune
03-28-2014, 10:13 PM
Thanks, everyone. I like the idea of the non-profit route, maybe something on the more glamorous, press-friendly side. And thanks for the Mary Landrieu suggestion--I'd actually thought of her as a model, but want my senator to be younger, early forties.

If you want a model, then you might want to consider H. Ross Perot, Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, and some of the other third party presidential candidates.