For the first day of the new Congress, here's this tidbit from the Des Moines Register about incoming Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst:
The night after her historic election, she was watching the volleyball team from her native hometown of Stanton as it tried to make the state tournament when her cellphone rang with an unknown number. Ernst, who now lives in nearby Red Oak, ignored it a couple of times, but the caller's persistence caught her attention.
"It was the White House switchboard. I was a little embarrassed that I'd been rejecting the president's calls," she said in an interview on Des Moines' WHO Radio on Dec. 29. "He was very cordial to me. Of course, he makes all those calls to new incoming senators. He did state he will always have a special place in his heart for Iowa."