his 3 o'clock appointment is on the other side of the Capitol. Most members take the sleek electric subway across campus. Not Issa. True to his car-worshipping California roots, he heads for the garage. There in a front-row space sits his beloved Lexus. With its master still 20 paces away, the car starts up, Harry Potter-style. The air conditioner is humming by the time he gets in. He punches in his destination--Hart Senate Office Building--and a soothing female voice on the navigational system instructs: "Turn left at the first light.... "
"This," Issa proudly explains, "is what got me here."
His fortune was born of his passions--cars and gadgets, like the little button on his key chain that starts the engine from a block away. So far in his life, there haven't been too many obstacles he couldn't outwit. But this latest one is a whopper. Very un-Issa-like, he begins with modest goals. "It's a very small role I play," he says of his Middle East efforts. "When I go into the region, I am educating members of Congress one by one, two by two, helping them understand there is opportunity there. And every time you have a visit where leaders there understand a little bit more about our Congress, it makes it easier for them to accept some of the things we might do without taking offense.