Capitol Faces: Mark Busching

Mark Busching

Hometown: Sea Cliff, N.Y.

Age: 39

Position: Chief of staff, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.)

Last job: Managing director of transportation for the Carmen Group

First job: Legislative assistant for then-Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.)

Most unusual job: Door-to-door salesman while in college

Favorite political TV show or movie: “The Godfather”

Religion: Christian

Marital status/children: Married with two sons

Most embarrassing moment: One day in middle school I was wearing khaki pants and spilled red paint on them. It looked I was bleeding. On another occasion I was wearing white pants and spilled orange juice on them. I don’t spill things a lot. I got over the habit after middle school.

Claim to fame: For high school I attended a Quaker school and they didn’t believe in competition. For graduation my peers voted on two people to speak. I was one of them. It was the only popularity contest I ever won.

Greatest aspiration (other than this job): “To be a good father.”

Most inspirational person: Jesus Christ

Education: Wheaton College, B.A., 1991; St. Johns School of Law, J.D., 1994

Busching is not new to the office of Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.). In fact, he used to be the congressman’s chief of staff in the late ’90s.

Busching, after working as a senior policy assistant for former Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta and in the private sector for the lobbying firm Carmen Group, returns to Capitol Hill, he says, fresh with ideas about how to ramp up his boss’s image.

“I was delighted to return,” Busching says of his new, but old, post. “I felt like I could do the chief of staff position better after having worked in the administration and the private sector.”

The aide said he felt that he had less power to enact change in the administration and private sector. “There’s a lot more freedom on Capitol Hill,” he says. “You’re your own little organization and you can be as creative as you want to be.”

One of his main priorities is to promote his boss’s quiet reserve of seniority that Aderholt has accumulated over the past 12 years in Congress. “Some may argue the Republican Party in the U.S. has a few chinks in the armor,” he says, explaining that he’s noticed England’s conservative party is growing in popularity and is taking cues from it. “The congressman has a great interest in foreign affairs and how other parts of the world solve their problems.”

With seniority and all the retirements, Busching says, Aderholt is on his way up. In terms of raising his profile, he says his boss is the epitome of the Southern gentleman in his slow, methodical manner of moving up the ladder.

“I’m sure you’ve noticed the yellers and screamers [in Congress],” he says. “Congressman Aderholt is pretty low-key and laid-back. He has a Southern, genteel approach to things. I am more of a hard charger. It’s a good mix.”