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Family Life and Consulting Work Are Filling Ben Quayle’s Time in Phoenix

Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., second from left, gets a hug from a supporter as his father, former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle, far right, applauds at an evening gathering of supporters after the Congressman concedes his loss to Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
National Journal
Cameron Smith
Aug. 27, 2013, 3:30 p.m.

Mov­ing from the heat of Wash­ing­ton to the fur­nace of Phoenix isn’t as bad as it sounds, ac­cord­ing to former Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ar­iz.

“We’re in the mon­soon sea­son, but we can al­most see the end of sum­mer here,” he said, quickly adding, “That doesn’t mean much” in a state where the tem­per­at­ure av­er­ages 100 de­grees in Septem­ber.

Quayle, 36, has called Amer­ica’s hot­test city home since 1996, and he now lives there full time with his wife and their 2-year-old daugh­ter. After los­ing a close primary race last year in a re­drawn dis­trict that pit­ted him against an­oth­er first-term in­cum­bent, GOP Rep. Dav­id Sch­weikert, Quayle says he star­ted work­ing this sum­mer as a con­sult­ant in his home state. “Be­ing in Con­gress and see­ing how the sys­tem works from the in­side really helped me with this kind of work,” he notes.

In Ju­ly, Quayle joined law firm Clark Hill as a seni­or dir­ect­or in the gov­ern­ment and pub­lic-af­fairs group. “I’m based in Ari­zona, but I was in Wash­ing­ton for one week in Ju­ly,” and he says he will prob­ably make monthly vis­its to the na­tion’s cap­it­al.

“My wife likes me be­ing home a lot more,” he said. “And my daugh­ter likes me be­ing home”¦. It’s been nice be­ing busy while be­ing at home.”

Quayle is not a nat­ive of the Grand Canyon State, though he is the fourth gen­er­a­tion in his fam­ily to loc­ate there. He was born in Fort Wayne, Ind., just a few days after his fath­er, Dan Quayle, won his first term in Con­gress in 1976. The fam­ily moved to Ari­zona in 1996 after then-Vice Pres­id­ent Quayle con­sidered a run for pres­id­ent but op­ted out due to health prob­lems.

Ben Quayle made his first bid for Con­gress in 2010 after Re­pub­lic­an Rep. John Shade­gg re­tired. Quayle won a 10-can­did­ate GOP primary in Au­gust and was swept in­to of­fice in the tea-party wave in the fall.

Quayle says he de­cided to join Clark Hill be­cause of the “en­tre­pren­eur­i­al spir­it” the firm cham­pi­ons. “There’s not a lot of top-down pres­sure. All of us work co­oper­at­ively on most of the things go­ing on in the of­fice,” he saiys.

He spend most of his time ad­vising cli­ents on le­gis­la­tion in the pipeline in Wash­ing­ton, and he finds fol­low­ing the ac­tion on Cap­it­ol Hill from a dis­tance in­form­at­ive. “It’s been in­ter­est­ing to watch the 113th,” he said. “It’s hard to get con­sensus on big­ger is­sues when there are dia­met­ric­ally op­posed views on how things should op­er­ate. I think there is a level of frus­tra­tion among our cli­ents to­ward Con­gress.”

Quayle says he “wouldn’t ever say nev­er” to a fu­ture bid for polit­ic­al of­fice. “I miss my friends who are still on the Hill, and not be­ing in­volved dir­ectly in poli­cy­mak­ing is something that I miss.”

But for now, Quayle con­cludes, “Things are good. I know, be­cause I’m ex­er­cising a lot more. That was the thing that was al­ways cast by the way­side.”

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