The Ripon Forum

Volume 54, No. 6

December 2020

Ripon Profile of Tom Emmer

By on December 9, 2020

Name: Tom Emmer (Thomas Earl Emmer, Jr)

Occupation: Member of the United States House of Representatives for Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District (I prefer the title “Customer Service Rep” for U.S. Congress). Outside of Congress: Husband to Jacquie Samuel for 35 years; Father to 7 beautiful kids (they look like their mother); dad, coach (primarily hockey); Attorney by trade, practicing of law (primarily civil trial work) for approximately 20 years.

First job held & the lesson(s) you learned from it: Caddy at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minnesota. I once caddied for a very well-to-do physician. He was a horrible golfer and his bag was almost bigger than me. I carried that thing around for approximately 5 1/2 hours only to receive a .50 cent tip. Lesson: If you’ve ever had to carry someone’s baggage for far too long and received far less than deserved, you will always remember to treat others as you would expect to be treated — no matter your/their station in life.

Books you’ve read that you’re recommending to friends: I’ve read many — I enjoy books; one of my favorites of all time is The Once and Future King by T.H. White. Most recently I’ve re-read The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek and recommend it to anyone who will listen.

Being an avid hockey player and coach, are there any lessons from the sport you have been able to use in Washington? Know your team and understand you are only as good as your weakest link. Every player not only has a specific job/responsibility, but each and every one of them — from the star to the spot player on the bench — will also be held accountable for their work on and off the field/ice/etc.

You also need to study and know your opposition. That’s the only way to build a game plan, prepare your team, and execute. From there, it’s about following the plan. Do not concern yourself with the other bench; in-game adjustments to deal with unforeseen developments (i.e. loss of a player) are fine, but do not deviate from the plan; protect your house and be relentless about attacking your opponent through the final second.

In the end, if you prepare and execute at the highest level through the final buzzer – you can hold your head high, no matter what the outcome.

As Chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), what issue would you say resonated the most this cycle? Freedom v. Socialism. The most significant message that resonated was the true differences between our two political parties that have now spilled into the public square. My grandfather’s Democrat Party has become the Socialist Party of America dominated by self-avowed socialists and ultra-big government liberals who think Washington can and should solve the problems of Main Street, instead of giving the people the freedom and power to determine what’s best for their family and their livelihood.

What does the GOP need to do to win back the majority in the House in 2022? In short, finish what we’ve started. We must continue in the next year to define the opposition and our targeted opponents while bringing a positive value proposition for the American voter in November of ‘22.

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