..of being a DNC intern is the awesome tours they put together for us of some of the signature places in DC. This morning, we went on a tour of the US Capitol. I’d been before, in March of this year (through Senator Kerry’s office 😀 More about that in the post I plan to make about my inaugural DC visit soon!), but it was great to get to see it all again with my colleagues! The history in those rooms is absolutely overwhelming. :
Our group in the Capitol Rotunda
The Capitol tour was fantastic (though the Kerry Senate Office version in March is still my favorite, for obvious reasons :)), but the absolute highlight of the day was the part we, unfortunately, were not allowed to photograph–our tour of the House floor and..wait for it.. the Democratic House Cloakroom! This epic win was scored for us by a very thoughtful fall intern who had been a House page a few years back and arranged the tour for our group through a connection he’d made through his participation in that program. I had been in the Hous Gallery during my visit in March, but this was my first time on the floor, sitting in the seats that Congresspeople and, during the State of the Union addresses from the President, Senators sit-on the Democratic side, of course. 😀 I must say that the chamber looks MUCH smaller in person than it does on TV. We got to sit in the chairs (and see the blue, red, and green vote buttons-I admit I touched the blue, ‘yea’ one, but not enough to make a vote of course! haha), walk about the floor, even walk up to the point and railing the President comes down when he enters the chamber for the State of the Union address each year. Surreal!
The cloakroom was particularly surreal, especially when our guide told us of the atmosphere in there when the Health Care Reform debate and vote was taking place. Of Nancy Pelosi and Stenny Hoyer staying late the night the bill passed, watching the coverage on MSNBC on the TV in there and on an even more personally striking note, of how a Democratic congresswoman was spotted sitting in one of the phone booths, reduced to tears after having told by staffers of the death threats against her and her family in her District, as a result of her support for health care reform. That to me was a very real, moving moment, one that really brought home the personal side and affect of this process. I’ll never forget that.
What an unforgettable week! I feel continually inspired in and by this whole experience. And so, so grateful!
More to come soon!