Waxman's Wily Ways

Talk about a heavy workload: While crafting a health care reform for the House, Henry Waxman must also try and push through a bill to tackle climate change. In a new profile, Washington Monthly examines the Lilliputian politician, who has the perfect personality to carry out Obama's ambitious agenda. Throughout his career, Waxman has been relentless in his pursuit of the issues near and dear to his heart. As one of his critics put it, he uses "the Ho Chi Minh approach. If [victory’s] not in the first year, it’s in the fifth." It is precisely this reputation that won him the influential chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, giving him a starring role in the fight against climate change. And though Waxman may not be the most charismatic individual on Capitol Hill—his speeches are likened to a principal who has caught kids smoking in the bathroom—his commitment to his principles make him ideal, the profile says, for crafting legislation that will tackle this era's most pressing issues head on.