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Blanche Lincoln: ‘I Do Not Miss the Politics’

Her take on life after Congress and a different perspective on policymaking.
Blanche Lincoln, former Arkansas U.S. Senator. Photo courtesy: Mark Petruniak
Blanche Lincoln, former Arkansas U.S. Senator. Photo courtesy: Mark Petruniak
ARKANSAS MONEY & POLITICS (Samantha Friedman) - In an otherwise typical office building on Vermont Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., there is an orange marquee bearing the name “Lincoln.”

It’s not advertising Blanche Lincoln’s current gig as a lobbyist, but it is convenient. The trendy restaurant on the ground floor of the building where she has her office is, of course, named for that earlier Washington figure. Though the former Democratic U.S. representative and senator is no longer working on Capitol Hill at the behest of the voters of Arkansas, she is still in D.C. and looks at policymaking from a new angle.

Following her unsuccessful bid for re-election in 2010 — an outcome she called “heartbreaking” — Lincoln and Robert Holifield, her former staff director at the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, decided to work together in the private sector. After a couple of years at the Atlanta law firm of Alston & Bird — former Sen. Bob Dole was a colleague there — they struck out on their own and formed the Lincoln Policy Group in July 2013. It’s a small firm, with a staff of just four — all of whom were on her staff previously and have Arkansas ties.

While she’s still working in Washington, Lincoln said there’s one thing she left behind on Capitol Hill when she departed Congress, much to her satisfaction.

“I do not miss the politics. I do not,” Lincoln said. “I came here because I wanted to help solve problems; I wanted to be thoughtful in looking toward the future.”

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