One-term wonder?

"One-term wonder?" Continued...

Issue: "Playing with capitalism," May 23, 2009

While he said he admires President Obama, he disagrees with the level of spending going on: "I grew up in a very poor family, and my parents have always taught for us to be frugal in how we spend money, to be careful in what we do, to respect elders, to raise children in the proper manner. I'm not saying the president doesn't do that, but . . . our decision making [is] influenced by how we were raised and our religious beliefs."

That frugality led him to vote against the stimulus bill, a vote that dismayed some of his constituents, though Louisiana received the funds anyway. Cao had indicated he would vote for it, but he switched his position at the last moment. Reporters in the Capitol laughed when they saw that vote-a "one-termer," they said, shaking their heads, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee immediately began running radio spots targeting Cao's vote.

How will he, someone with no political background, win next time when he isn't running against an indicted politician? "I would have a track record," he responded. Right now, his record is a mixed bag: He voted for Congress' pork-laden 2009 budget but then voted against next year's $3.4 trillion budget.

But in his placid, un-politician-like way, he concluded, "In the event that they don't want to vote me back in, that's fine. At least I have spent two years of my life trying to do what is right and good."

Emily Belz
Emily Belz

Emily, who has covered everything from political infighting to pet salons for The Indianapolis Star, The Hill, and the New York Daily News, reports for WORLD Magazine from New York City. Follow Emily on Twitter @emlybelz.


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