One of the things that we decided to do at the very beginning of transition and then in those initial weeks in the White House was to visiting every Congressional office, all 535. A Herculean Task. Not only with appointments, but stopping in, opening the door and saying to the reception person, “Hi, I'm the new person with the White House legislative affairs and I want to get to know you and I want to get to know your boss. We want to have an open door Republican or Democrat alike. We want to begin to work with the Congress in a constructive fashion.” We split up all the congressional buildings by floor, not by who to see and who not to see. We went to see all 535. We saw most of the congressmen. But if we didn't see the congressmen, we saw their staff, who are almost as important and sometimes more important. We gave them a card that said, “Here is our direct line number. That is an urgent priority of any new White House. The idea of having an open, frank, candid good relationship with the congress on both sides of the aisle is the absolute way you must start in order to have an effective honeymoon. Those are the kinds of things that build bonds. Those are the kinds of things that, later on, even if they don't vote for you, they'll be fair with you. They'll bend over backwards. It's that kind of chemistry that you need to develop in the White House. The ingredient to our first year's success was the fact that we limited the agenda. We focused on only three things the first year: cutting taxes, cutting spending and increasing our national security.
The answer is focusing your attention: focus, focus, focus.