Tester supports feds with rural sensitivities

Sen. John Tester (D-Mont.) - Photo courtesy of Sen. Tester's office.
Sen. John Tester (D-Mont.) – Photo courtesy of Sen. Tester’s office.

Don’t let that dirt farmer from Montana fool you.

From his brush cut to his size 12C cowboy boots, Jon Tester exudes the image of the wheat grower he is. With his frequent references to his farm near Big Sandy, Mont., you’d almost think he drove to Washington on a tractor.

But his plain-spoken, self-effacing manner can be disarming. Tester, a second-term Senate Democrat has a way of confronting administration officials without making a show of it, a skill not always practiced by some of this  congressional colleagues, particularly those in the House.

It’s a skill that comes in handy as chairman of the Senate workforce subcommittee, a role that makes him a key player in the lives of 2 million federal employees.

Read the full story in the Federal Diary, online this evening and in tomorrow’s print editions of The Washington Post.

federaldiary@washpost.com

Twitter: @JoeDavidsonWP

Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about federal government and workplace issues that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012. Davidson previously was an assistant city editor at The Washington Post and a Washington and foreign correspondent with The Wall Street Journal, where he covered federal agencies and political campaigns.

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