Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hanging with the Gov

Photo by ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES, found here
Sam and our neighbor Ian are likely the most politically savvy friends we have but imagine my surprise at being invited to a primary night function that they and others hosted for Governor Gregoire. Perhaps 75-100 folks turned out at the Spitfire Bar on 4th last Tuesday to hear comments from the Gov and shake her hand. Sam, Ryan & Casey even got snapped in a Seattle Times photo waiting to talk to her. These events are naturally for fundraising but they are also outreach to people who may have passing interest in local politics but don't have a pre-existing connection.
One thing that I've noticed with politicians on all levels is their uncanny ability to recall faces and names. I was noticing as the Gov got closer to us, she'd shake hands, look you right in the eye and listen very intently for the :20 seconds she's focused on you. And it was like she was putting you and what you said in a mental Rolodex--should retrieval ever be necessary. Memorization also comes into play when she give her stump-like, quasi-inspirational speech. She led off by addressing a laundry list of issues and differentiating herself from "her opponent." It smacked of speeches I seen from Hillary and she used the closed fist, thumb up gesture. It's hard to boil down complicated issues into a eloquent sound bite and still sound sincere. But that's the artistry of being a politician. To round it out she came back down to Earth and told us about a light-hearted mistaken identity incident involving her and another lady in a restroom. It shows she's one of us and like us, not afraid to tell you what goes on in the restroom.

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