The number one lesson I walked away with from my time in Washington D.C., was a respect for the scope that exists is DC. Everything is big. Everything is under scrutiny. Everything is operating at a scale, I never had experienced before. If you think you get it, and have never worked there--you know nothing.
I respect anyone who can actually get ANYTHING done in this evironment--knowing this, I understand that my role is purely from the outside-in. I'm not saying everything there has the best possible motives, but you have to respect anyone getting ANYTHING done in an environment, where everything you do is being so heavily scrutinized.