Helicopter Politicians, Part II.


So anyway I’m invited to a visit that has been organized by Sen. Judd Gregg. The first part of it didn’t go well actually, other than an impressive aircraft flying over the mountains into the sunset nothing was accomplished.

And it only got worse.

The intenary called for the Senator to have a reception at the Italian Oasis restraunt in Littleton where he would outline some projects in regional economic development and answer questions. It started out fairly well I arrived at the meeting and the Senator was there standing by a table with some of his staffers and his long-time Chief of Staff, Joel Maiola. Everyone seemed jovial and upbeat I’m thinking something major is going to be announced like a huge corporation coming into Littleton with millions of dollars of economic development, taxbase and jobs. Then the local big shots started arriving, and every community has them. These are the local businessman, lawyers, bankers, realtors, etc. Alot of bluster on this day as well.

And instantly the environment changed. The Senator started schmoozing while his staff seemed to be culling and dividing the crowd into two categories: desirable and undesirable. If you were in the desirable category then you were in the center of the room next to the senator and the food tables if you were in the undesirable category than you found yourself basically pushed against the wall with one of his staffers, like Rich Lougee standing directly in front of you. In the years I’ve attended NH political events I’ve never seen anything like this; keep in mind that this is an invited event I actually received a written invitation on card stock to be here. And I wasn’t the only elected official to be trapped behind the elitist curtain. There were at least two selectmen I recognized in addition to at least one state employee that I recognized from the NH Department of Transportation.

So the introductions begin of course the speaker attended Harvard and has to let everyone know of this, his daughter would be continuing at Dartmouth in the fall. I’m not sure how this is relevant to anything other than to show that pedigree and power is among friends. At least this my take. By now I’m trying sip a glass of ripple wine and take a bite of some hard tasteless cheese as I’m staring at the narrow pinstripes of the suit in front of me; the introductions continue through all the elected officials that are there: Congressman Charlie Bass, Executive Councilor Ray Burton, Sen. Fred King and the way down to a former register of deeds or probate who has been retired and now sitting in a wheelchair for at least ten years. The Harvard grad missed me and the three selectmen; in addition to the DOT official who supervises over 250 state employees along with millions of dollars of infrastructure and equipment.

No matter. It's not like the dyanmics of the situation can be changed anyway.  

So then Senator Gregg then takes the microphone…

To Be Continued…