have its foot in the administrative door

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zwxsnake

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

"Well, Doug, what did you think of him?"
"Who?"
"Wayne Hartson, of course. Quite a character. The party wouldn't have its foot in the administrative door without him."


This is from the novel Simulacron-3. In this novel,"the party" is one of the two political parties in the U.S., but the writer didn't name it.
Question: does "have its foot in the administrative door" here mean "be in office(weild state power)"?

Many thanks!
 
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  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I would understand it as: The party wouldn't have the opportunity to be in office without him." You put your foot in a door in order to keep the door open.

    The phrase is often used to indicate an initial breakthrough/opportunity as in "He tried for many years to sell his products to a large supermarket. Last month he managed to get his foot in the door when they ordered 500 units of his product."
     

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    Question: does "have its foot in the administrative door" here mean "be in office(weild state power)"?
    No. It means "to have the ability to influence the administration." If your foot is in the door, the door can't be completely closed. You get a hearing, though it might not be very attentive.
     

    zwxsnake

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you PaulQ and cyberpedant.

    Then I made the connection. Wayne Hartson, one of the strongest political figures in the country.
    "Without Hartson," Siskin went on almost in a whisper, "the administration couldn't operate. Of course, his connections are all under the surface, since he appears only to be handling liaison work between the party and the government."

    This is another description about Wayne Hartson. It seems that "the party" is in office now. Is it correct?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Honestly, I would need to read the book to comment. In novels of this sort, there are often "shadowy characters" who can control the administration regardless of who is power.
     
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