Speed Reads

presidential phone tag

Freshman Senator Joni Ernst accidentally ignored President Obama's congratulatory phone calls

After being sworn in as a U.S. Senator on Tuesday, Iowa Republican Joni Ernst will make history as the state's first woman in Congress. Ernst has pledged to "focus on Iowa" — and that's her strategy all the way down to accepting phone calls.

The night after Ernst defeated Democratic opponent Bruce Braley back in November, she gave a pep talk to her hometown high school's volleyball team, The Des Moines Register reports. The team was vying for a spot in the state tournament, and while Ernst was watching the match, several phone calls came to her cell from an unknown number. She ignored the calls until the caller's repeated attempts persuaded her to answer.

Who was so intent on getting ahold of the then-senator-elect? "It was the White House switchboard," Ernst said, in an interview with Des Moines' WHO Radio. "I was a little embarrassed that I'd been rejecting the president's calls."

So next time you're cursing caller ID, don't fret — even the president's calls get screened.