No Free Meals

For me, at least.

I got an email last week from Barack Obama. I get these often.

It said that he was basically very proud of the fact that 94% of his campaign donors gave less than $200 (i.e. the rich and powerful don't run his campaign) and that he was going to have a contest. Any previous donors who donate again by 3/31 would be thrown into a drawing. Then four winners would be chosen at random and be flown out east for a private dinner with Barack. Just him and the four donor-turned-sweeapstakes winners at a table. How freaking awesome would that be!? Naturally, I grabbed my wallet and threw a few more bucks his way. I told myself that I could either buy a new videogame or win a chance to have dinner with Obama. The decision was simple. Unfortunately, I didn't win.

Regardless your politics, getting to sit at the same table and have dinner with the possible future President would be something to remember your whole life. I can't help but think I'd enjoy the experience of sitting down and having dinner with any world leader, if for no other reason than just the novelty of it all. On second thought, I think Dick Cheney would be the one possible exception. And that's only because his inevitable grunting would remind me of my stepfather. That would ruin the moment.

The Washington Nationals had their home opener the other night and President Bush was there to toss out the first pitch. He was booed mercilessly by the crowd. A few loud isolated cheers could be heard, but it was primarily a chorus of boos. Bush quickly walked to the mound, turned and threw a very high fast ball (he was obviously pissed off at being booed and took it out on the ball) and then hastily walked off the field and out of sight. The whole thing didn't last 20 seconds. Had I have been there, I would have booed too. But then, 40 minutes later he was in the booth with the commentators and I have to admit I really enjoyed listening to him talk about the game (he used to be the President of the Texas Rangers team). He had some funny anecdotes and even called Chipper's homerun before the sportscasters did. It sounds odd to say, but this was a pretty interesting reminder that the setting really matters and that in a one-on-one situation, even people you disagree vehemently with on a host of matters could be pretty likeable. I don't think you should vote for someone because you think they'd be fun to have a beer with as so many people said back in 2000, but at least now (finally) I can see why people might have said that about Bush.

But back to Obama. Some of you might remember that I got picked to be one of the delegates for him in the 5th district here in Washington. I didn't really think that would entail a whole lot when I agreed to do it, but apparently I was wrong. I have to attend the district caucuses this Saturday and I'm expected to be there from about 10:00 in the morning til 4:00 in the afternoon. It's not so much the time committment that has me annoyed, but rather the sheer boredom of the whole thing. I've seen the agenda for the meeting and, as I should have guessed, it's filled with bureacratic, procedural nonsense. I just know I'm going to come home that night with a list of ideas how the whole thing could have been shortened to 30 minutes.

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