Newsmaker: Mark Schauer

By Kyle Melinn

What was the first thought that crossed your mind when you realized that you’d won the 7th Congressional District race?

My first thought was – now comes the hard part. As I said on election night, politics is about competing visions, but governing is about bringing people together to achieve a set of common goals. Here in Michigan, that means being able to reach across the aisle to enact policies that allow our workers and businesses to compete, help our struggling auto industry, and reform our broken health care system.It’s one thing to talk about achieving those goals during a campaign, but now we have to deliver on the change people voted for this year.

How much time do you envision staying in Washington during the week?

During a typical week, I envision staying in Washington for any and all votes, which typically take place from Monday evening thru Thursday afternoon. However, my main goal is to maintain a strong presence in the district, and spend as much time here as possible. That’s the best way to get things done for your constituents, especially when it comes to some of the economic development casework I expect we’ll be working on during my first term. How many miles did you put on your car during this campaign? Did you ever have to take it into the shop? I can’t tell you exactly how many miles I put on during the campaign, but I would guess at least 40-50,000. My 2002 Saturn L Series has about 270,000 miles on it, and, yes, we had to take it into the shop on a few occasions. It’s still running pretty well though. After all, it’s a quality GM product.

What was your favorite media apperance in the last 12 months?

I enjoyed both TV debates on WLNS and WILX in Jackson, because I felt like they gave Congressman Walberg and I a productive forum to discuss the issues and lay out our plans for turning Michigan’s economy around.

The Obama-Biden rally at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek was also one of my favorite media events of the past 12 months. There was just an electric atmosphere that night when I got the chance to address the crowd of 18,000 people who came to see Barack Obama and Joe Biden. For that many people to show up and wait in the sweltering heat on a Sunday night, I knew we were witnessing something really special.

How many times have you spoken with Tim Walberg since Election Night? What did he say to you?

I spoke to him the morning after the election when he called to concede, but that’s it. He just congratulated me on my victory, told me that it’s a terrific job, and urged me to take care of the district.

If you ran into Tim Walberg on the street during your vacation, would you offer to buy him a drink?

Yes, without reservation. I would like to hear his thoughts on the job and to listen openly to his advice. I’d take him to one of my favorite diners in the district, or maybe even Joe’s Gizzard City USA!

What was your first job?

My first job was pumping gas at a full-service gas station. I washed windows, checked oil, checked tire pressure, and I learned how to change oil and fix tires. Talk about service!