This profile of a freshman Congressman makes way too much of his technical education, but at least the article does suggest that there’s more to him than just nerdiness — after all, he won! And, if I stand for nothing else it’s the notion that a few more technically-competent folks in seats of power can only be a good thing for a lot of important issues! Unlikely new lawmaker rode winds of change - pdf
Jerry McNerney always thought he would win his race for Congress. It’s just that nobody else did.
Why would anyone? He’s a 55-year-old math wonk and wind energy expert who never even ran for class president. He likes to climb wind turbines. He named his daughter Windy. The idea of speaking in front of a crowd makes him nervous.
But there he was last week, standing on the Capitol steps with the other freshmen, eating hors d’oeuvres at the White House, a symbol of voter fury so extreme that even eggheads prevailed in this month’s midterm election.
A soft-spoken scientist with a doctorate in math, McNerney is one of a handful of underdogs and gadflies swept into Washington on an anti-Republican wave that washed in not only handpicked establishment Democrats, but a few who didn’t appear to have a prayer.
[...] The learning curve is steep and the details of setting up offices and life on two coasts daunting.
But McNerney has already formed a freshman task force on energy and global warming.
Not intimidated by authority, he shook Bush’s hand at the White House soiree and thanked the president and the first lady for visiting his district, which he believes helped him more than it helped Pombo.
McNerney takes his place as one of the few PhDs ever elected to Congress and perhaps the only one who can prove that an imaginary number to an imaginary exponent is a real number. Which is sure to wow them in the cloakroom.
Maybe not, but at least he’s *in* the cloakroom!