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Lunch Time with the Senator

Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 13:36 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) stopped by the office today. Really, he did. He’s in Worcester to open up a local office because he isn’t under the false impression, as many Massachusetts politicians are, that Rt. 128 is the western border of the Commonwealth. Our company PAC invited him in to meet with them, greet the employees, and deliver a few remarks. He spoke completely off the cuff, and I must say he’s a funny guy. He commented on the number of employees gathered at the meet-and-greet and asked, “Who’s doing all the work?” I’ll try to post some video later this week.

Prior to addressing the whole group, he talked to a great many of us individually. When my turn came, I told him, “Don’t forget where you came from.” I said that for a long time, we’ve had senators who were more concerned with their DC connections and their lives of luxury than they were about their obligation to us. He assured me that his wife is making sure he keeps it real.

Sandy and Scott

Sandy and Scott in the company cafeteria

I didn’t get a picture of myself with him, but lots of other people did, such as my co-worker Sandy G (left), who voted for him in last year’s special election to fill the unexpired term of the late Ted Kennedy. Another co-worker, Linda, never voted for him, either for U.S. Senate or when he was her representative and senator in the General Court, but that didn’t stop her from being totally agog because “he’s hot.” Well, yes, but he’s also just a regular guy. It’s beneficial to remind ourselves of that every so often.

Linda’s reaction stirred the memory of an incident back in the early ’90s when my son and I encountered another U.S. Senator in another setting. I had taken the Den Son to Washington, DC, on what for several years was an annual April vacation trip to visit relatives and see the sites at the nation’s capital. During one trip, we stopped in to the Longworth Building to visit our friend, Peter Blute, who had recently been elected to Congress.

After our visit, we took the subterranean train to the Capitol building to get a tour. The House office buildings are just across the street from the Capitol’s south end, but I thought it would be fun to have the Capitol subway experience, which also meant that we wouldn’t have to go through security again. Purely by chance, we were joined for part of our ride by then-Sen. Nancy Kassebaum (R-KS), who was very unassuming but doted all over the Den Son. When we got to her stop, she wished us a happy rest of our vacation. I instructed DS to “say thank you to Sen. Kassebaum.” He later asked me why I had addressed her as “Senator,” and I replied because she was a United States Senator and it’s proper to address her that way. He acted a little surprised and said, “Oh, I thought she was just a regular lady.”

It was a teachable moment because I had a chance to further impress upon my young son that our elected officials at every level are “just regular people.” Granted, neither Peter Blute nor Nancy Kassebaum is quite as attractive as Scott Brown, but what they all have in common is that when you peel away the important-sounding titles and the perks of federal elected office, they are not very different from you and me. Besides, as the saying goes, they work for the people, so maybe they should be the ones all agog over us.

Categories: government, politics
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