September 28, 2007

MEETING FRED SMITH

Lorie Byrd invited me and other local bloggers to a gubernatorial campaign event for Fred Smith. We bloggers got free admission to this fundraiser and were treated like bigwigs. In fact, real bigwigs were locked out of Senator Smith's home while he talked to us bloggers. It was a real treat.

By now you know that I usually feel like a kid at the grown-ups' table when it comes to these blog events. I'm just happy to be taken seriously at all, especially since my blog has basically devolved into talking about knitted octopi and...um...other uninteresting crap. I like using my blog to talk about my opinions and values as much as the next person, but I am not so in touch with the actual implementation of policy, especially at the local level. I am rather a dunce at that sort of thing. Plus, with moving around every year or so, I've never really participated in local politics. So Wednesday when I was surrounded by bloggers asking Sen. Smith good questions about his campaign, I sure felt like I didn't belong. But I did what I think one should do in such situations: shut the hell up and let the smart people talk.

After I listened to Sen. Smith talk about his ideas and experience, my mind couldn't help but wander to what a strange thing politics is. I have never met a politician before, so I couldn't help but analyze the situation. Sen. Smith probably can't ever just have a normal conversation with people. He must constantly expect questions about policies and projects. He has to carefully think about every single thing he says. I can look like an inexperienced jackass in his home, but he sure can't. The whole idea seems so weird to me. He's supposed to be prepared and infallible, seven days a week.

And yet, he doesn't have that Bill Clinton vibe. That's what I normally think of when I imagine the archetypical politician, the selling-ice-to-an-Eskimo type of guy. Fred Smith didn't have a toothy grin and a golly-shucks attitude. I personally thought he was intimidating. I didn't feel at ease on that sofa in his living room, and I wondered why I was feeling so stupid sitting there. And then I remembered something: I usually feel stupid in the company of great men.

Likeability is a big factor in politics. As I sat there with Fred Smith, I realized it shouldn't be. Whether or not you like someone has no bearing on how effective he'd be as governor. He doesn't have to be dripping with honey if his ideas are sound. It's better to have a no-nonsense man in charge than a used car salesman type. I'd rather have him have a plan for the state than be able to effectively kiss a baby. And most of his ideas and the vision he lays out on his website seem pretty sound. I like his stuff. I like that he said that the government should be "good stewards of my money." I like that he said he wants to run for office as a businessman, as if he's marketing a product. More things in government should be run like a business, in my opinion, where results count more than intentions do.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about Fred Smith.

Sen. Smith's guest of honor for the evening was Lee Greenwood. I got to meet him and talk to him a little about my husband's service. (More evidence that people still think I'm a teenager: when he heard I was a military family, Lee Greenwood asked me how long my father has been in.) I got to tell him about how we wanted to perform a rendition of his "God Bless the USA" in a talent show when I studied in France but the school wouldn't let us because they said it was jingoistic. Stupid France. Mr. Greenwood was super nice in person and a lot of fun in the concert he gave after the meet and greet. He even made a mention of my husband and me during his concert, which was such a nice thing to do. When he says he supports the troops, he darn sure means it.

It was so nice to be invited to this campaign event. I'm always excited to be surrounded by fellow right-wingers! And I think it's really cool that Sen. Smith reached out to bloggers and gave us the royal treatment. I look forward to following his campaign.

More recaps of the night from the other bloggers:
Inner Banks Eagle covers the Blogger Conference, the reception in Fred Smith's home (complete with photo of me and Mrs. Smith!) and the Lee Greenwood concert
Red Clay Citizen
Spinning the World in the Right Direction
Election Projection

Posted by: Sarah at 04:32 AM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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September 11, 2007

HERE AND THERE

AWTM wants me to post at SpouseBUZZ about 9/11. She said, "I think it is funny how Homefront6 describes the disbelief and sadness, you pride, and me disappointment today." She wanted me to show another perspective.

But I don't think I can do it.

Expressing pride on 9/11 is not the normal feeling, even if it is the pride of knowing that your family is working to make sure it never happens again. And, for me, any expression of pride has to come with an explanation rooted in politics. Because, sadly enough, 9/11 is still highly political. And SpouseBUZZ is not.

So I can tell you here that I feel good that, six years on, my anger is properly channeled and I've settled into a good pace on this marathon we're running. But I don't feel comfortable saying it there.

Posted by: Sarah at 11:40 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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