On Capitol Hill, name recognition is the ultimate cachet.
Just ask the anonymous members who diligently toil away only to be written off by reporters as “backbenchers,” members of the “rank and file” or the quietly maneuvering “Obscure Caucus.”
That’s likely never been a problem for the handful of standout lawmakers who joined the ranks of the Fortney “Pete” Starks and Arlen Specters of the world by adding their distinctive monikers to the congressional rolls last year.
Not that sporting a unique forename guarantees every visitor will absolutely nail it when they come a-calling.
It’s a Family Affair
Rep. Markwayne Mullin is accustomed to sticking out in a crowd. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Oklahoma Republican said his name pays tribute to two dear family members — a duo who has, over time, repaid the favor in kind.
“My father was the youngest boy of eight children and he had two brothers who did not have any sons. And since I was the youngest of seven in my family, I was named after both of them: Mark and Wayne,” Mullin said of the compound ID.
The honorary mashup earned him some extra attention every year.
“In my large family, Christmas was the occasion we gave most of our gifts. I grew up on a working farm, so birthdays were just another work day,” he said. “But my uncles … would always make me feel special and give me gifts on my birthday.”
Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La., said his name isn’t rooted in history so much as planted in his parents’ hearts. According to his staff, the McAllisters initially anticipated having a girl, so they settled on the name “Vanessa” for their little one. Once they learned a man-child was on its way, they clipped Vanessa down to Vance.
According to Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, his name is quite common — at least across the pond. Full story