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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

The Senator Who Became a USDA Delivery Man

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Many's the time that American voters have looked at their senators and representatives in Congress and said, "Why don't you get a real job?"

Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., apparently has taken those words to heart. According to the USDA Blog, he played trucker and delivery man for the Agriculture Department's Forest Service this week, driving the 73-foot Capitol Christmas Tree to Washington in a Mack Pinnacle truck.

Every year, the Forest Service provides a tree from one of the 155 national forests it oversees to grace the Capitol grounds.This year's tree comes from the White River National Forest in Colorado.

Campbell served in the Senate from 1993 to 2005. Before that, he served three terms in the House. He started out as a Democrat, but switched parties in 1995.

Apparently Campbell has been a longtime trucker, too. He helped deliver a tree once before, in 2000, from the Pike National Forest. This year's tree is scheduled to be lit in a Dec. 4 ceremony. 

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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