Monday, January 28, 2008

The Capital Red Carpet

Tonight was President Bush's final State of the Union address, which means he has fewer than 350 days left in office (GOD BLESS AMERICA). I watched the speech with some of my coworkers whilst drinking an unpalatable combo of 7 & 7 alongside mint hot chocolate that tasted intensely of bananas...

But I digress.

Watching the State of the Union with three legislative assistants with politics degrees is like watching the Oscars with, well, anyone else. My friends could name every stuffy white male politician & then rattle off his voting record & reference three New York Times articles on his policies. They harped on Pelosi's violet suit with me, sure, but the majority of their watching energy was devoted to: analyzing seating arrangements ("Who put thus-&-such bleeding heart Dem next to such-&-such hardliner GOP guy?!"); criticizing environmental & foreign policy about which I have zero knowledge & therefore cannot even jest; and comparing & contrasting this year's speech with the past seven... from memory. They spent their time yelling things like, "It's all platitudes!" and unleashing the rhetorical fury of phrases like "What is our metric of success?!"

I can't believe I even know these people.

And speaking of that sentiment, let's not forget my boss, sitting in Pelosi's guest section, with the CNN cameras zoomed in on him for a good 10 seconds during the president's reference to faith-based initiatives. My friends & I yelled in unison, flailing & pointing, fielding text messages from friends & other coworkers, astounded at our sudden feelings of Fame by Association. Yes, ladies & gents, I'm helping write a book for a guy who attended the State of the Union. Envy me if you must.

But in the end, because I am me, my primary question was still, "Who was that guy next to Condi who looked so much like Cal Ripkin, Jr.?" And some questions, my friends, are just too deep, even for the intellectuals of this great city.
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