Her grandfather was in Congress and her father is a big hit in the Senate, so it's only natural that Cynthia "Sissy" Baker should cast a covetous eye toward Capitol Hill herself.
"I'm Howard Baker's daughter, and I'm proud of it," says Sissy Baker. "I have no reason to hide it, no reason not to be proud of it. Now I have to make sure (the voters) also know I'm Sissy Baker, which means getting home and getting to know these people and letting them get to know me."
What the 25-year-old daughter of the Senate majority leader is after is a new congressional seat in central Tennessee, what she calls "a funky district" that "scrapes" part of Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga but doesn't include any of the state's larger cities. The state's Republican establishment, which includes Gov. Lamar Alexander, would love to see another Baker on Capitol Hill, especially because when it comes to politics, it's like father, like daughter: Sissy Baker says she and Dad see eye-to-eye on all issues.
Sissy Baker was 10 when her father was elected to the Senate and the Baker family moved north. After graduating from Mount Vernon College with a degree in communications, she joined a Nashville television station as a production assistant, weekend reporter and videotape editor until she began campaigning for her father's unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Last month she quit her job as an assignment editor at Cable News Network's Washington bureau to return to Tennessee, where she'll probably announce this fall for next year's House race.
As a going-away present, her colleagues gave her a new briefcase. Howard Baker--the Watergate committee senator who wanted to know what Richard Nixon knew and when he knew it--might like to hear that the briefcase was stuffed with phony cash.