I guess I should write something about my trip to Philly with my boss where President Obama and Senator Arlen Specter were having a wine and cheese event-pre-fundraiser thingy.  There was about 200 people there, maybe more, definitely less than 2,000,000  that were at the Tea Bagger rally in D.C.  ;-)

The best part about the trip was the ride down with my boss.  During work we don’t get to chat about the straight politics of the day since I am busy with constiituent services while he is drafting legislations and working to get stuff done in Harrisburg.  It was fantastic to hear his opinion on what is going on in Washington, what is going on in Harrisburg, right vs. left, his career path, my career path, you name it.  I tried to get a lot in during the 3 hours we spent in the car together. 

The thing I learned about my boss is that he is still idealistic.  He thinks through the issues, and despite the fact that he wants to get elected like every other politician, he is not afraid to take a position which may not embrace the party platform.  He also commands respect from within his caucus and from people on the other side of the isle.   Smart man.  And I was honored to have the time to chat it up with him.  This is not a campaign plug – just a note to say I have a ton of respect for my boss.  I can’t say I agree 100% with every position he takes, but I am confident that he thinks through the issues and I can appreciate his rational and pragmatic approach to government. 

When I arrived in Philly, we were shuttled into a ballroom in the Convention Center.  I could tell that there were a lot of dignitaries and VIPs in the line because it seemed that everyone thought it was appropriate to butt in front of us.  I have noticed this behavior at other events where there are a lot of legislators and VIPs - they are not used to waiting in line.  Its a great *thing* when you have more than 50 of them that have to wait in line.  Its not unlike that game we played when we were kids where you stack your hand on top of someone else’s hand, and then that person stacks their hand on top of your hand.  You end the game essentially slapping one another, fighting to be the last one on top.  Nothing gets accomplished in either the game or the real live version VIPs and legislators play when faced with a line.  I almost felt like telling them it would be much easier if everyone just stood in line… But I am just a lowly staffer, so I bit my tongue. 

After we were frisked and fondled from Secret Service, we hopped on the unusually long escalator and walked into the recieving area.  Everyone was dressed real nice – men in suits and women in nice dresses.  Party time!

Since I am on a calorie restricting diet, I salivated over the hor d’oeuvres  and watched Michael Smerconish introduce Specter, Mayor Nutter, and Philadelphia city councilmen.  A gentleman speaking about how Specter had helped him and his family during a rough time could barely be heard over the chatter from the room. 

Finally Smerconish announced Obama was going to enter the room and everything got quiet and Obama came running out.  His ears looked especially big to me – perhaps because I wasn’t very far away from him (I met him a couple of other times, however, I was star struck like a 12 year old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert).  Damn he has some big ears.

He did his latest stump speech on healthcare while weaving in some plugs for Senator Specter.  He could read the phonebook and it would sound good to many people.  I have heard this speech so many times, it actually got boring toward the end.  He says the same thing over and over so many times, changing a word here, or there.  Some how people still don’t know what his position is on healthcare.  I feel for these people.  Its the most pragmatic and realistic assessment coming out of Washington from both sides of the isle.  Now if only Congress could put something together – that’s for another time…

It is always cool to see the President in person.  The security, the hoopla, the attention they command.  Its freaking awesome.  I would love to be President for a  week.  On the 7th day, I would of course rest…

After the speech, people gathered along the rope line to see if they could touch the Prez.  Being the above average nobody I am, I let some other people get in front of me since I had been there before.  I can tell you this about our President – he definitely mosturizes his hands.  Not a callous or even a splinter scar can be found on those hands.  Soft as a baby’s bottom..  Its kind of tooo soft.

I did bring my book for him to sign – Dreams from my Father.  I held it up high so that Reggie Love could see it and he grabbed it from me along with a picture my boss brought along.  I waited 20 minutes to get my book back and much to my chagrin, NO signature!!!  He signed the picture, but he didn’t sign the book!  I was a little peaved and determined that next time I would be voting for Sarah Palin.  You betcha!

I don’t want to post the substance of the speech, nor do I feel like getting into the substance of the conversation I had with my boss.  But it was a great day!

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