Last week, I wrote about our Spring break vacation plans. We had planned on visiting New Mexico, but upon further study, we determined that that state’s non-skiing attractions pretty much shut down until late spring, or too late for us. Casting about, I came up with the suggestion of Washington DC. Anne seemed immediately amendable to this idea, probably because one of her original suggestions was visiting Philadelphia, which is just up the tracks from DC. These plans are still in the formative stage. One of our concerns about Washington is the impending threat of sequestration. It wouldn’t be a very fun vacation to show up only to find that every attraction in town is shuttered.
We haven’t made airline or hotel reservation yet, but I did request tours of the US Capitol and the Whitehouse. Years ago, like during either the Johnson or Nixon administration, I can’t remember which now, I visited both of these sights. Back then, like now, tour spots are a form of political patronage, albeit pretty low-level.
Each senator has a number of spots to dole out to their constituents back home. Back then we were residents of California. My Dad was in the Navy and as a serviceman; he could declare his home state as he wished. I don’t know how tour spots are divvied out, either then or now, but since senators are involved, I imagine that each senator gets the same quota. Even though California was then and still is the most populous state, I can’t imagine a senator from North Dakota being all that impressed by that.
Here in Missouri, our two senators are Claire McCaskill (D) and Roy Blunt Jr. (R). Blunt was first elected in 2010, while McCaskill was reelected last year. We both voted for Claire, Anne campaigned for her and I donated to her campaign. I can’t say that we did any of those things for Mr. Blunt.
Today, I applied on-line for both tours, through both senators. Of the two tours, the US Capitol tour seems the more likely. The Whitehouse tour requires a background check. McCaskill’s application solicited this information, while Blunt’s didn’t, but warned of a minimum three-month waiting period, which for us is a nonstarter. It will be interesting to see going forward, what if anything, we get from our two elected representatives.
The photo with this post is from a business trip that I made in 2007, the last time that I was in DC. I don’t think that Anne has been there since 1982, the year of our great bike adventure. She might have gone on a field trip with Dan, but she is not around right now to ask? The statue of Freedom is encaged in construction scaffolding, but back then we were still under the reign of the second Bush administration.