I'll start things off with a little piece of history. This was a picture taken in the summer of 1997 by my boss, Chris Casey while on a short break from an all-nighter in the Minority Leader's Capitol office. That night we stayed up all through the night and into the next morning assisting Democratic Senators with radio and television interviews and Internet chat sessions. It was my first exposure to what a powerful majority can do for themselves while masking as "helping the people." I don't know if many remember, but in the Summer of 1997, the Midwest was hit with a damaging flood as a few rivers overflowed their banks. The Democrats and Republicans both believed in passing Flood Relief, but the Republicans insisted on filling it with as much pork as possible with the belief that President Clinton had to sign the bill anyways. You can imagine what happened, but there's a funny story I had from that night and I wanted to share it.
Senator Daschle had done his interviews early last night and passed the torch to other Senators for the rest of the night. At about 8AM after staying up all night I finally took a break to snap this pic and grab a morning coffee and donut. Since I came in the previous night around 9'ish and missed Senator Daschle's interview I didn't get a chance to introduce myself as he thanked his staff. So picture this...I'm sitting on the Capitol balcony, my first break in close to 12 hours, eating a donut and guess who walks on the balcony. The Senator was very gracious and all I could muster out of my donut filled mouth was, "great view from here Senator." He replied, "yes, it really is. Thanks for your help."
So, eventhough I spent the whole night at work, I get caught by the Minority Leader of the Senate eating donuts and drinking coffee on his balcony at the Capitol.
Here's another picture of the magnificent balcony when my parents visited me in DC that summer...