Saturday, September 8, 2012

Montana Politicking

My coworker has only known me 3 months and will attest that I am annoyingly political. So can those who haven't yet blocked me from their Facebook news feeds (expect a rant about guns coming shortly). I haven't done anything in the political arena since I moved to Florida. And to be honest, working for the Florida government sort-of put a bad taste in my mouth where politics was concerned. So after trying and failing to get a job with Senator Max Baucus before moving to Montana, I decided to take a break. It was all a bit too much ego for me.

So imagine my surprise - and total Liberal happy-dance - when the Montana Democratic Party called to invite me to a meet n' greet pot luck with Senator Jon Tester, running to keep his seat in the US Senate. Heck yeah!

I don't remember a great deal of the events I attended in and shortly after college because, let's face it, there was a lot of alcohol consumption in between. But this was the first I attended by myself. I wasn't nervous, it felt like riding a bicycle, even though there, unfortunately, wasn't any alcohol. I was the youngest person there, aside from the girl-staff in their hipster outfits, and the boys desperately trying to look like Washington DC won't eat them alive. Otherwise, everyone was over the age of 70, which was good since that meant the line for the food moved pretty swiftly. I met a very nice man named Bruce who had been a civil engineer, teacher, computer programmer, you name it. And he was equally surprised at my background as well, since most everyone asked where I go to school. He knew Jon Tester personally which, apparently, wasn't too difficult as the Senator seemingly knew everyone in the room.

 He was introduced by the firefighters, and probably one of the best lines of the night was, "he's a man who will stand up for us instead of sue us for doing our jobs!"

 He's a very good speaker, down to earth and just says it how it is. This was my first time really seeing him or listening to him speak. The crowd was very enthusiastic.

 After Senator Tester spoke, he handed the mike to his running mate for the US House, Senator Kim Gillan. With Tester in the Senate and her in the House, shit would get done! (Well, probably not really. I mean, it is Congress after all.)

 Tester didn't speak for very long, he spent most of his time working the room. He knew most everyone and had some sort of personal anecdote with all of them.

 And he was nice enough to take a picture with me. :-)

 And so was Senator Gillan.

The dinner didn't last very long, from 4:30 to 5:45pm, which was good since the pristine South Park Senior Center happened to be located in the worst part of town. Plus, it was nearing most everyone's bed time. It was a great time and I'm happy I was invited. As we get closer to the election, God only knows what will happen next.