Well my friends, after months – nay years of growing skepticism and depression regarding our political landscape, there is finally a glimmer of hope. At least here in the Great White North. Yes, we lucky citizens of the great State of Maine finally have a reason to rejoice.
If you follow my blog, you have heard me bemoan the state of American politics before. I’ve railed against the atmosphere in Washington, and how the Democrats and Republicans can’t seem to do anything at all but shout at each other across the aisle. Washington seems to suffer from an incurable case of “I’m-Right-And-Your-Wrong-So-there”.
Recently however, a voice has been heard from Maine’s past that gives us all reason to be hopeful. Our former Independent Governor Angus King has announced he will run for the soon-to-be vacant senate seat of retiring republican senator Olympia Snowe. Angus King was a great Governor, and served two terms in the late 90’s from 1994-2003 – winning both his elections by a landslide. In short, he was business minded, and had a knack for bringing both sides together in the middle to get things done.
I may be biased, but that only comes from the fact that at one time I knew Governor King personally – handling the I.T. needs of the Governor s office during both of his terms. In that capacity I had a chance to actually spend some time with the man. Not that we were friends of anything, but I did get to watch him work. More importantly I got to watch how he treated people. Important people and little people alike, he had a way of making everyone feel at ease. A kindness about him. A feeling he was genuinely interested in how you felt.
One of my favorite memories of Gov. King was one day in his office. It was after 5pm, and Gov. King was scrambling to get ready to depart for a trade delegation trip to Japan. He had like 20 hours of flight time ahead of him, and had asked me to help him get the voice recognition software on his laptop working before he left, so he could dictate letters and such on the trip.\
Of course to do this, you have to speak into the microphone on the laptop, so the voice recognition software can learn your speech patterns. I got the software setup and ready and told Angus we we’re ready to configure it for him. He kicked everyone out of his office (which for Maine’s governor happens to be a large, impressive, oval shaped office – (very reminiscent of another, similarly shaped and much more famous office a couple of thousand miles south) leaving just he and I alone.
He proceeded to choose from several text passages he had to read that the software presented him. “Hmm…”. And then “Alice in Wonderland, Winnie-the-Pooh, or Oliver Twist?”. I smiled and told him I had always been partial to Pooh as a kid. “Pooh it is then”.
And so while I sat there beside him, alone in his office one evening after hours, the great Governor Angus King read aloud to me a tale from the 100 Acre Wood. I remember thinking to myself at the time – “Ok, I never in a million years woulda’ guessed I’d be here…”. I will always treasure that memory.
Now just because Angus King is a nice guy is not the only reason to be happy he has decided to come out of retirement and run for the U.S. Senate. More than that – and something that speaks to the great problems that Washington faces – Angus King represents the very key ingredient that has been so lacking of late among our current batch of self-important wind-bags. Humanity.
And I for one, am standing up to cheer.
— I wanted to post his official senate race website here, but I just searched and could not find one. Found a Twitter account, but I am suspicious it is real. When I have the facts, I will post them! — JB