When Horace Cooper finished taking law school classes at night, a friend got him a telescope for graduation-the better to enjoy the vista down the Mall to the Washington monument from his well-placed office in the U.S. Capitol.
Cooper, 29, is legislative counsel to Lewisville-Copper Canyon-Arlington-Irving congressman Dick Armey, who last year had to make do with cramped accommodations in the Cannon Office Building, but now as Majority Leader enjoys a suite of offices on the second and third floor of the Capitol.
A Houston native, Cooper studied government at the University of Texas before joining Armey in 1988 as a lowly legislative correspondent answering constituent mail. Those days of anonymous toil arc gone. “A lot of the ideas that we always had are now getting an opportunity to become law,” Cooper says.
Most Friday afternoons the high-powered Cooper-one of four Armey policy analysts, responsible for tracking the progress of telecommunications, banking, labor, and a variety of social issues-is likely to be seen sharing a cigar (Dunhills preferred) with some of the other Hill 20-sometbings newly empowered by the GOP revolution.
Cooper, in his wire-rimmed glasses and business suits, cultivates his arch-Republican image with good-natured forthright-ness. “Horace makes me feel like L.L, Cool J,” jokes one fellow Republican staffer not inclined to hipness, in a reference to the popular rapper. Cooper’s response: “Who’s L.L. Cool J?”
Cooper is not sure where his Hill career will take him. One ambition is to become a Texas judge (hence the law degree), But whatever the next step, this much is clear: The view for Horace Cooper is looking just fine.