The Virtuous Vituperator

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Trip

Well, my trip to DC was OUT OF THIS WORLD!

My new friend (first and foremost) works at the White House. He's renewed my faith in high-level government employees. Dedicated, smart and carries a tremendous desire to help others. First class in every capacity.

Had dinner at the Capital Grille on Thursday night, saw Senator Coleman from Minnesota. He arrived shortly after we did, essentially bumping us down the wait time list (and we had a reservation)... THANKS SENATOR! ; ) He also sat at the next table. Didn't get to chat with him, but it was cool to see him. (at least to me anyway) Had a great dinner. CapGrille is always a nice meal for us meat eaters. Conversation was mostly light and we covered a lot of ground for my organization.

Highlights: An invite to the White House for the next day. Huh?! Are you serious? How's my schedule? NOW CLEARED!!!!! Also, my VP of APFED is officially being nominated for a Presidential Volunteer Service Award. Prestigious and well-deserved. I hope she gets it as there are few human beings finer than she. Offers to set up meetings with key people that we need to chat with to begin our political life in DC. Loads of "wows" throughout the evening.

Next Day. I had a meeting, then the White House. Had to wait on my background check, which was kind of weird and scary. We weren't IN the WH, but in the building next door, the Eisenhower Bldg. aka the Administration Bldg (I think). Met the Special Asst to the President, one of two. That was really cool and he was incredibly nice. Covered more APFED stuff and got a mini-tour of the area.

Below is the entrance to the West Wing.

We went in the doors, but without advance notice of a personal tour, we couldn't go any further. Promised a next visit personal tour of the inside. We were literally 1 minute's walking distance to the Oval Office. The entrance is in a side road, it's lined with TONS of black vans, trucks and scary guys with guns. I'd say it was one of the most exciting moments of my life to stand where every major political person in the history of that entrance has stood. Truly an honor. The public isn't allowed in this area- obviously.

Next pic- the side steps up to the front lawn of the WH.

Our guide/friend tried to get us up on to the front lawn to take pix. Also a rare opportunity. But something was going on up there and we couldn't go up. Not disappointed. It too was an honor to even stand there! Up those steps and quite literally- ON the front lawn.

How cool is that. I won't bore anyone with the mundane details of my organization's legislative agenda until we actually HAVE ONE! LOL. Suffice it to say, I feel renewed, energized and soooooooo appreciative of some of the people on the Hill in this Administration.

I don't always agree with President Bush's agenda. I don't always agree with ANY of the Presidents we've had. I do know he has some truly quality people working for him that took a LOT of time (3 hrs on Thurs and 2 on Friday) to see a lady who has almost nothing to offer them, asked little and just wanted to be heard.

For anyone who has every tried to get in to see their Congressman/woman, you know that IF you get in, you get 15 minutes and that is it. They are all so busy.

All the time.

I understand my privilege and do not take it for granted. All I can hope to do is see it through and make the most of representing the patient-community I try to make heard.


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