Rae Oliver Davis

Rae Oliver Davis, Nov. 1997

Here is a column from 1997 that falls into the “what goes around” category.  It is about Rae Oliver Davis, who is making the news now due to being named inspector general of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

President Donald J. Trump signed Davis’ commission letter Jan. 16 and she will be officially sworn in Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m.

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Metropolis always has its official representation in the capital of the United States. We have two senators and one U.S. representative.

But every once in a while we have our unofficial representatives working in Washington in various agencies of the federal government.

Right now our girl — er, young woman — is Rae Oliver.

Due to a lot of hard work, and some good luck, Rae is presently working on the high-profile special Senate investigation into campaign fund-raising.

For weeks, we have seen on television and read in newspapers about Sen. Fred Thompson and others who are sitting on this committee during the hearings.

In the background are the people like Rae, busy doing depositions and research.

Rae, the daughter of Charles and Jerry Oliver, graduated from Massac County High School then attended Murray State University.

From there she went on to the University of Memphis School of Law and graduated in May.

While in Washington, she found out that she had passed the Tennessee bar exam.

Rae went to Washington on Labor Day and expects to be working there through Dec. 31. There was talk of extending the life of the committee, but it looks as though that will not happen.

Rae says she spends her time answering the phone, making photocopy after photocopy, and helping with depositions, exhibits and documentation.

She basically acts as an assistant to the attorneys. The investigative committee is rather large, with approximately 100 people on staff.

They are divided into teams, with Rae working on the White House team. That means her team is investigating anything that may have been done incorrectly by President Bill Clinton and his staff.

Sometimes Rae attends the actual hearings and can be seen on television, but usually she is way in the background. She has had little direct contact with Sen. Thompson, but has met him briefly.

The committee staffers have been spending long hours interviewing people and doing research, trying to get the hearings completed prior to the Dec. 31 deadline.

One of the highlights for Rae has been assisting in the deposition of George Stephanopolous. He is the young, dashing former assistant to President Clinton.  Now he is working as a television commentator.

Rae said he seemed very intelligent, and very charming.

While still living in Memphis this summer, Rae made calls asking about jobs and learned that there was an opening in Washington, available through Sen. Thompson.

But, she had to act very quickly, basically throwing clothes together, jumping in a car and heading to the big city.

   Luckily, she is able to live just two or three blocks from the Capitol in a special rental unit for young women.

Rae says she really likes living in Washington and is very interested in finding a permanent job there.

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A few weeks ago, I was in the Washington, D.C. area for a seminar. Although I did not have time to do much sightseeing, I did spend Sunday afternoon downtown. The tour guide for the downtown area was Rae Oliver.

To get downtown, I used the assistance of another Metropolis young person in D.C., Will Sams.

Will, the son of Jon and Dee Sams, graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Paducah, attended Brescia College in Owensboro and then moved to Washington. Unlike Rae, he works in the private sector, at National Airport.

Will lives south of town, and one of the unique things he enjoys is Sunday afternoon bike rides down to Mt. Vernon. Will can ride down, have a soft drink at the refreshment stand, wander around George Washington’s former home, and then bike back home for a nice afternoon.

Will was nice enough to drive out to where I was staying, near the Dulles Airport, pick me up and take me to the Metro subway.

Will and I took the subway downtown, met Rae, and had a very pleasant afternoon touring the mall area. I don’t mean a shopping mall, but the grassy mall in front of the Capitol Building.

The mall contains the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and memorials to soldiers who have defended the country.

I was extremely interested in seeing the wall of names, which is a memorial to soldiers who died in Vietnam.

Two of the names on the wall are of young men I remember from high school.

On the way back out of town. Will and I stopped to visit the Marine Memorial, with the huge statue depicting the flag raising at Iwo Jima.

I have a personal interest in it since the picture, which the statue was modeled after, contains my second cousin. Franklin Sousley, who helped raise the flag.

Although I have done some research and writing on the flag raising, this was my first opportunity to actually see the statue.

Now I need to find some time to go back to Washington and spend about a week doing the real sightseeing.

Rae says it is much more impressive to visit the Lincoln Memorial at night; I can imagine that it would be.

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