Rodriguez new flack, a fiction writer, penning story about life as a Hill aide

Josh Rosenblum, Rep. Ciro Rodriguez’s (D-Texas) new press secretary, likes to write fiction but doesn’t want to sound snotty about it.

“I feel like that sounds pretentious,” he whispers while talking with a reporter in his boss’s office.

“This is what I think sounds a little pretentious: I’m writing a book,” the 29-year-old says.

The working title of Rosenblum’s novel is A Great Big Party for Everyone. It’s about a young, male Democrat who comes to Washington, D.C., in search of a job.

“It’s not autobiographical,” he insists. “All writing is innately sort of personal.”  

Rosenblum came to the nation’s capital from New York but made several stops in between the two cities.

After graduating from the University of Albany, he moved to Missouri to work on Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign. Then he went to South Dakota to do field work for Sen. Tim Johnson’s (D-S.D.) 2002 campaign against then-Rep. John Thune (R-S.D.).

After that, Rosenblum moved south for a short stint working on Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) 2002 runoff election. He also worked on Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) presidential campaign in 2004.

After spending significant time on the campaign trail, Rosenblum made his way to Washington, where he went to work in Johnson’s Senate office. He left D.C. for a few years to pursue a dream to live in Colorado and ski. There he worked in the Colorado state legislature.

Though he loved living out West, Rosenblum returned to Washington because he missed the work.

“If the jobs here could be in Colorado …” he says in describing his ideal situation.

Rosenblum admits he has had good luck working in politics, having landed positions in several high-profile campaigns and worked in the Senate and the House.

But he doesn’t grant the protagonist of his novel the same fortune.

The young Democrat, Geoff, arrives in Washington shortly after the Republicans win the 2000 presidential election and maintain control of Congress — in other words, a lousy time for Democrats to be looking for jobs.

He finds a well-to-do Republican roommate who is enjoying the riches of his political party’s control of the city. Seeing Geoff continue to struggle, the roommate offers to give him a professional makeover — but only if Geoff switches his political affiliation.

“He originally says, ‘No way,’ but he does it,” Rosenblum says.

As for Rosenblum, there will be no party-switching in his future. He gives a quick “no” when asked if he’d make the same decision as his main character.

What does his future hold, then? Well, have you heard of Diablo Cody, the screenwriter who won an Academy award for the movie “Juno” and who got her start in the literary world by writing about her experiences as a full-time stripper?

“I’m going to be the Diablo Cody of Capitol Hill,” he says. “Except maybe without the stripping.”