If he survives a recount challenge,the Republican talk-show host will be sworn in Jan. 5 as a member of the House,representing Texas's 27th District.
“I'm learning that my schedule is not my own,” Farenthold said Tuesday. “In South Texas,we can just go and be there. Here,things have changed minute by minute.”
He's attending a week-long orientation for new House members.
“I'm kind of hit with the sense of responsibility and history of this place,” Farenthold said. “You get a sense of the history here and the shoes you've got to fill. It's a huge responsibility.”
Farenthold has gotten his I.D.,learned how to vote,begun figuring out the tunnels between the Capitol and the House office buildings and thought about his staff. He plans to find a balance between staffers with Capitol Hill experience and those who understand South Texas.
Now,he has to find a place to live. He thought about sleeping in his office to save money. That will change if his daughter Morgan,21,comes with him. The Texas Tech junior has applied to be a congressional intern,though not with her dad because it's against the rules.
“My daughter worked on my campaign,and she got bit by the political bug,” Farenthold said. “If she comes up here,I'm going to have to get a place that's a little bit nicer than I would get had it been just me.”
In meetings with Republican elites and his 93 fellow freshmen,Farenthold is solidifying his political positions.
“I'm against earmarks,” Farenthold said. “I think you need to be able to defend your spending before the entire House,and it needs to be good for the country. That needs to be the No. 1 test. Now,the plus side for that for Corpus Christi and Brownsville and South Texas is that a lot of … government spending down back home is important to the country.”
Most new House members will draw lots for offices on Friday. But the recount may help Farenthold.
“The beauty of this recount is if it goes on long enough,I won't participate in the office draw and I'll get Solomon Ortiz's office,” Farenthold said.
Ortiz's Rayburn Building office has a view of the Capitol,something few freshmen get.
Ortiz said in an interview in that office that he will accept the outcome of the recount and hopes that Farenthold will represent all of the people in the 27th District if the Republican wins.
“This is my urging: not to forget the little people,” Ortiz said.