Face Time: Scott Ogden — Play and politics in D.C.

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Deputy Press Secretary Scott Ogden lost his job in December when Olympia Snowe retired from her U.S. Senate seat.

But he didn’t have to leave the U.S. Capitol.

Ogden started this month as press secretary for newly elected U.S. Sen. Angus King.

A 2006 Monmouth Academy grad who went on to Bowdoin College, his D.C. experience started with an internship in U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree’s office. Ogden moved to Snowe’s office a few months later, where he rose within the ranks.

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A baseball player in high school and college, he still plays ball. Now, though, it’s on the national mall.

Name: Scott Ogden

Age: 25

Hometown: Monmouth

First, congratulations. How unusual is it to work for the next incoming U.S. senator? Thank you! I’m not really sure how unusual (or usual) it is to transition from an exiting senator to his or her successor, but what I do know is that it’s been one of the greatest privileges of my life to work for Sen. Snowe and my home state, and I feel fortunate to be given the opportunity to continue that work under Sen. King. In my opinion, Washington needs more people like Sen. King — and like Sens. Snowe and Collins or Cohen and Mitchell — who understand that public service is about problem solving, and who, in that pursuit, also commit themselves to the principles of compromise and consensus-building, which are fundamental to the progress of our nation. I know Sen. King will carry forward that work brilliantly.

Describe your average day in Sen. Snowe’s office: Well, as you might imagine, there’s really no such thing as an average day in the office, and I think that’s what I like best about the job! But on any given day, you may find me fielding and following through on press requests, writing press releases, drafting floor statements, working on speeches or staffing the senator for various events — and most likely doing it all with a large coffee in one hand and my Blackberry in the other.

Detail that might surprise people back home? It’s very random, but a lot of Mainers who visit the office are surprised to learn that much of the Capitol complex is connected by underground tunnels. I can walk from any of the Senate offices to any of the House offices, and even to the Library of Congress, without going above ground once. And if you don’t want to walk that far, you can hop aboard the underground monorail system from the office buildings to the Capitol.

Person you’ve met in the last two years that made you think, “I just met X!”: Vice President Joe Biden is the most high-profile public official I met, and that was an amazing experience. But as someone with a deep love for Maine political history, meeting Sens. Bill Cohen and George Mitchell were truly special moments for me.

How is D.C. most unlike Maine? Hmmm . . . where to begin! For me, it has to be the amount of noise. From bus engines and car horns to helicopters overhead, the noise pollution is endless and it makes me really appreciate Maine’s serenity.

Two must-sees for anyone visiting D.C.? Sen. King’s office, of course, and then my particular favorite, the Lincoln Memorial. I think the 16th president always has some wisdom to share with us.

Any sports or baseball for you these days? Are there senatorial staffer leagues? Yes to both! The Senate has its own softball league, which plays on the mall and at other makeshift fields throughout the District. For the past two years, I’ve played for the “Snowe-Business” softball team, named so because our roster was comprised of staff from Sen. Snowe’s personal office and the Senate Small Business Committee, where she recently served as ranking member.

What you’re looking forward to in 2013: I’m just hopeful for another year of good health and happiness.

kskelton@sunjournal.com

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