Prepare a cup of black coffee, make sure his toiletries are organized, have a camera charged and clean the car of any garbage — these are all things an aide must do before picking up Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita from his home each day.
The unusual list of demands — confirmed to Fox News as authentic by spokesman for Rokita’s 2018 U.S. Senate campaign Tim Edson — is designed as a guide for the staffers tasked with driving the Republican congressman around.
The instruction manual, titled “Instructions on Staffing and Driving,” is broken down into various sections of preparing Rokita, 47, for his day — from preparing a checklist of materials, to specific home pick-up instructions, to responsibilities while driving and what to do when attending and leaving events.
Drivers — who are asked to “not interrupt [Rokita’s] prep time with unnecessary conversation” — are expected to carry a toiletries box and a separate supply box known to staffers as the “Football.” That box includes products such as gum, tissues, hand sanitizer and a blue marker — “for signing letters” — to name a select few.
When asked about the detailed 8-page memo, Edson said, “there is nothing wrong with being prepared and organized,” adding a detailed list like this is “pretty standard stuff for a campaign or member of Congress.”
The memo, which Politico reports was co-authored by a former chief of staff to Rokita and Edson, says that when attending an event with the congressman, “The best way to make a good first impression is to look like we know what we are doing.”
When Rokita is meeting constituents or others at an event, the staffer with him is to “collect contact information on as many people as possible” to be “quickly entered” into a database, all while trying to take pictures and update the congressman’s social media “constantly.” Staffers are also told to take pictures of “trackers,” the role of which, according to the memo, “is to get footage of a candidate, or even their staff, saying something controversial” to use against Rokita.
And, at the end of the day, the congressman’s driver is expected to make sure he has his phone and wallet with him, before emptying the car’s garbage can and reviewing the inventory of the “Football” checklist and reporting it to “the next day’s driver ASAP.”
Rokita, who’s running a competitive race for a Senate seat next year, has in recent weeks traded insults with Republican challenger Rep. Luke Messer, who, in response to the memo, joked on Twitter that his drivers needed to stop at a local pizzeria to pick up a pizza he already will have ordered on his own.