Thursday, 25 October 2012

Getting Around

My morning was quiet. Seated upstairs in a Capitol Hill coffee shop, I did some further writing on my thesis. Then it was off to Foggy Bottom on the Metro - and to meetings. At lunch we met with Dr Michael D Cohen, the man behind "Congress in Your Pocket", an 'app' I have on my iPad - which I find incredibly useful. With a few taps I can summon up lots of  information about individual members of Congress, committees, and what's going on in both Houses. Personally I use it when watching or reading about the current Congress. It also is a valuable source of information about the individual congressional races currently being fought. Worth checking out.

After lunch I headed out to Huntington, the final stop on the Yellow Metro line. (It's the station I use for getting in and out of the city from my base in Stratford Landing.) The combined Obama/Kaine (Senate)/ Moran (House - 8th Congressional district of Virginia) local campaign office is just across the street. My first sign was to 'construct' yard signs - placing the 'Kaine for Senate' signs over the metal frames.

It was great to meet "Scotland for Obama" - four Scottish lads who are over here to volunteer for the campaign. They have recently graduated, and it was great to see, both their enthusiasm and their eagerness to apply what they were learning about modern campaigning to the British scene. While there are some negative lessons - they recognise the potential for improving dramatically the way British politicians can communicate (yes, communicate - a two way dialogue) with citizens"

I too was amazed at how sophisticated campaigning had now become - and the tools which are available.

This evening was more relaxed - and I watched with my hosts some recent episodes of 'The Thick of It', wickedly funny!

The photo below comes from outside the offices in Alexandria, where 'early voting' is taking place. I was there on Monday (and will be there again this lunchtime), handing out 'sample ballots', to help voters identify the Democratic candidates. I was warned about the serious consequences of crossing the line. To do so would be a criminal offence!