Washington D.C. is proving to be a very interesting place to be. Especially at this time. I would never have though. We expected a busy fall with the Roberts nomination. However, it will swamp us now it seems. Katrina has already flooded us with contacts, either in letter, e-mail, or phone call. The upcoming Roberts confirmation hearings will do the same. Now, to add to it, we will have another justice who needs confirmed when the time comes. What a time to be interning in the District of Columbia!
Yesterday I was sent all over the Senate buildings to collect signatures for a Dear Colleague letter. It was interesting and I don’t think I should say what it was for just yet. However, I had to go around and collect signatures for 20 Senators. It was very interesting to go to their offices and see how each of them decorates. I will admit, I think ours I think is the best decorated. It is definitely warm, welcoming, and friendly.
Anyhow, in my journeyings, I was waiting for a signature in Senator Akaka’s office. While I was there, he came out to leave the office. I got to meet him and thought that was interesting. Today while I was out getting signatures, I was waiting for one in Senator Feinstein’s office. She too left while I was there and got to shake her hand as well. She seemed nice enough but this other lady kept talking to her. Not that I had anything to say really. It was interesting to see the person who I know so many people hate and despise. She seemed like a nice lady, but with a very square smile.
This morning all the Senators were supposed to meet in front of the Supreme Court and then go in to pay their last respects. Gavin and I were present outside and tried to pick out all the ones we knew. Noticably present were Senator Kerry, Senator Kennedy, Senator Hatch, Senator Bennett, Senator Wyden, Senator Dole, Senator Craig, Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell, Senator Specter, and some others. They did not all arrive at once, but they came slowly but surely. The office allowed Gavin and I to stay in line if it was not too long. So we were privileged to go in and pay our last respects to Chief Justice Rehnquist. Maybe it is the tradition out west or something, but the coffin looked very small. Perhaps it is the western view of space that makes us decide we like big spacious coffins. I don’t know. This one seems so small. At any rate, it was inspiring to pass through the rotunda of the Supreme Court on such an occasion. Only my second time in the building and this time was within feet of the big man himself.
Last week I was able to go on a tour of the White House. That was an interesting adventure in and of itself. I had always heard people say they expected it to be bigger. It was pretty small compared to what I would have thought. Oh well, it was still very beautiful. Oh the history within those walls.
I think the same thing as I walk to work in the mornings through the Capitol, or walking home, or giving a tour. I spend at least an hour in that building a day. Never would I have thought, that I, Paul Ross, am privileged to spend so much time in that building. It is an honour.
Well, I will close. It is fascinating to think I am walking in the same halls and corridors as some of the greatest men of history. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Albert Gallatin, John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Quincy Adams, Roger Taney, John Jay, John Marshall, Aaron Burr, Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln, Grant, Garfield, Jackson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman, Roosevelt, Roosevelt, Wilson, and many more. These men who have literally helped shape the world in which I am now a part. I walk in their footsteps literally every day. Some of the very same tiles they would have stepped on.