Amy Wegmann goes to Washington
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. - There's a new role for a former Fox 4 anchor and it's one that not many people get to experience. Amy Wegmann calls it the best of both worlds living in Southwest Florida and Washington D.C.
She's supporting her husband-turned-Congressman Trey Radel in his freshman year on Capitol Hill.
Life in Washington isn't easy.
She's giving anchor Kelli Stegeman an inside look at her new life.
Amy Wegmann went from counting down to the evening newscast to counting with her toddler.
"Can you say 1, 2?" She asked her 17-month-old son Jude. "Show me your one!"
Amy has traded the palm trees for the cherry blossoms now making her part-time home in DC as a congressman's wife.
"What was the biggest shock to you?" asked Stegeman.
"The biggest shock? I think the biggest shock really his how normal and cool everyone is," said Wegmann.
Normalcy is exactly what Amy strives for in her family of three with Trey and Jude.
"You are a normal family," Stegeman asked.
"Yeah!" Wegmann said with certainty. "Absolutely normal. I love to cook, we hang out and watch movies, we like to do normal things."
"How important is it to have that normalcy in Jude's life, in Trey's life, in your life?" asked Stegeman.
"So important," replied Amy. "It's so important."
That normalcy includes letting Jude be that curious toddler among the nation's elite.
"We'll be in the Capitol or we'll be walking through the tunnels and Jude will just decide that he wants to lay on the floor or start making out with an eagle on the statue," said Amy. "I'm like 'What are you doing?! We can not do that!"
Life in D.C. was a bit overwhelming at first.
"You walk down the halls in the Capitol and I'm pushing Jude, or he's chasing after me and Paul Ryan will walk by or John Boehner is there and you're just like 'This is kind of bizzarre," said Wegmann.
Now, several months in, a routine is taking shape.
"I find myself doing so much more than I thought I would do," said Wegmann. "I jump on the Metro so easily with him. We jump on, we hang out, he chucks the sippy cup across the Metro and I run and get it."
Being a congressman's wife has it's perks. Like a special pin with a special meaning.
"They know that I am a spouse of a member of Congress so I don't have to go through security checks, I get clearance to go anywhere," said Wegmann. "Little things like that you just, you don't realize."
She used the special pen the day we followed her while she visited Trey in his office for a little family time.
"We go to the Capitol often to go see Trey, we'll have lunch together, because otherwise I won't see him," Amy said. '"Trey is working 7 in the morning till sometimes 10-11 at night."
Even during the busiest of days, Trey takes a time out for a teachable moment with his son.
"What color is this phone?" Trey asked Jude as they sat in his office during a quick lunch break from Congress.
Amy says the priority is finding the balance.
"Sundays are family days no matter what," she said. "We don't schedule any events, no political events. That's our family day. We hang out, we go to the beach. If we're in D.C. we go check out the museums or sometimes order Chinese food, lay on the couch and watch a movie. We have to do that."
While this American family relishes the 'normal,' those not-so-normal moments find their way in. Like an unlikely baby sitter at an event with other political leaders.
"I brought him (Jude) to the little daycare and I'm thinking 'Who are these guys standing in the corner?" Amy said. "I asked the woman, and she's like 'Oh, that's his Secret Service detail.' And I'm like 'This is just too weird, my 1-year-old has a Secret Service detail!"
Another no-so-normal moment, spending time on House Speaker John Boehner's private balcony.
"What is it like being able to give those moments to your son?" asked Stegeman. "He may not be old enough to remember it, but it's special!"
"I want him to look at this video when he's older and say 'Wow, I was part of that. I was part of something bigger."
When Amy needs to get away from it all, she finds peace in the park and ponders questions that maybe one day she'll persuade Trey to tell.
"Trey gets briefed on all this crazy stuff all of the time and I told him jokingly, half-jokingly, the one thing I really want him to find out about; I want to know about the Aliens," Amy laughed.
"Have you made any progress in that?" asked Stegeman.
"No progress!" exclaimed Amy.
With a laugh said she hopes Jude becomes a doctor or a veterinarian and shys away from news or politics.
So don't get too hopeful for Jude Radel presidential run for 2048. This family is just taking it day-by-day.