By Karissa Marcum - 09/11/07 05:50 PM EDT
Most people run headlong in the other direction rather than face their fears, but that’s not Anderson’s style. The new House Administration Committee Democratic press secretary is restless, always looking for his next challenge. Right out of college, he took a marketing job with Prudential Insurance — and then hosted his own show on his father’s talk radio station.
For Anderson, hosting in his own voice was part of his quest to conquer his fear of public speaking.
“I don’t like to be afraid of anything. Life’s too short to be worried about things,” he said. He added that his work on radio taught him to “step out” of his own head and not make assumptions so easily.
But seven years and countless lessons later, Anderson felt it was time to move on.
“There comes a point when you realize that you’re not learning anything,” he said. “You’re just doing the same thing.”
The next big step for Anderson was taking a job with a diversity-consulting firm. His brother was still working for the family’s radio station in Philadelphia when he interviewed Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.). Brady was so impressed by what he heard from his brother that he asked Anderson to send a résumé.
Anderson said what makes him interesting has little to do with him. “The people around me challenge me,” he said. “I like to surround myself with positive people who are smarter.”
Oh, and this 39-year-old is single. “Don’t forget to write that in the article,” said Anderson. “People usually say I look younger.”
Getting his braces off in a couple of weeks could help his look as well. “It played into my vanity,” he concedes. “The doctor said, ‘You know, we could do something about it.’ It’s time to get them off.”
He is still learning how to find his way through the maze of the Capitol. Getting lost in it and underneath it has become a routine — and a rite of passage he embraces with self-effacing humor.
“The other day I pretended to be text-messaging someone because I didn’t know where I was going,” he said. “I tried not to have that look like I was lost. I’ve gotten more discreet in looking at the signs.”
Anderson rarely disengages from his work and said he’s become comfortable being accessible 24/7. He reads to relax and make his head “stop working.” Sometimes it’s science fiction, but lately it’s the Bible, which he plans to read cover to cover. He’s on Exodus right now, working his way through the Egyptian plagues.
When he does unwind, it’s likely for deep-sea fishing. He likes the “diversity of the fish” and the unpredictability of what lies beneath.
“I like not knowing what’s going to happen next,” he said. “Where is a joy in knowing exactly what you’re going to be doing?”