CGG and I spent yesterday in DC enjoying the pageantry of the celebrations surrounding the incoming 110th Congress (which CGG will post on extensively later). We were sitting in the Union Pub at the Connecticut Democratic Delegation's Welcome Party for their new members when we were informed that we were just across the street from Senator Lieberman's party. What's an intrepid Connecticut blogger to do? Crash, of course (especially since we had seen every Connecticut Democrat at the party, but didn't see anyone elected on the Connecticut for Lieberman line)!
So we walked across the street to Union Station and thought that we could walk right in if we looked confident. No dice, the doormen informed us that we would have to check in to enter. Anticipating the need to perform a song and dance about why we were not on the list, I launched into a story about why we had not RSVP'd only to be cut off about two words in by a "we don't care who you are" look and the handwriting of our names on name tags. We were in.
Upon entering, there was a sign welcoming us to the
With the sign gone we felt silly standing by the empty stand, so we went in search of someone we knew to talk to and immediately happened upon Dan Gerstein. After introducing ourselves (I had spoken with him in the past but only via phone), Dan gave us a nice compliment regarding Connecticut Local Politics (but managed to also take some shots at Connecticut's other blogs - not everyone who disagrees with you is crazy), gave me some helpful tips on how to snag a future debate for the Law School, and just generally proved that, when no one is paying him to do otherwise, he can be a really nice guy.
He even consented to having a picture taken (bookmark this if you anticipate being in a scavenger hunt where one of the items is a picture of Dan Gerstein and a blogger smiling together - this is probably one of a kind):
If you look really closely over our shoulders you can see a
Finally, we had to go in search of the Senator. We found him, surrounded by well wishers and waited our turn to say hi. While we were waiting, we witnessed the following exchange:
Town DTC Chair: Hi Senator, I'm Town DTC Chair from Town and -
Joe Lieberman: [sour look] We got killed in Town. All is forgiven.
DTC: [semi-sarcastically] I forgive you too, Senator.
The sight of Senator Lieberman forgiving a town chair for working to elect the Democratic nominee (you know, doing his job) warmed my heart, so I was glad to see the town chair give it back to him a little and "forgive" him for running as a petitioning candidate.
We also witnessed the Senator visibly recognizing CGG, motioning an aide over, and the aide trying to stay between us and the handshakes. While the aide was a lovely dance partner (call me!), after a few persistent minutes of the handshake soft-shoe, I was finally face to face with the Senator.
I greeted him with "Hi Senator, my name is Gabe and I am with the Law School Democrats. I just wanted to let you know that, while we don't agree on everything, I really appreciate your decision to continue to caucus with the Democrats." The moment the words "Law School Democrats" was out of my mouth (or was it the word "Gabe"?), he gave me a withering look and turned his back to me to greet other well wishers (we hosted an event for a certain Mr. Lamont of Greenwich), pausing only to turn back around for more dagger looks when I said that I didn't agree with him on everything.
Deciding to go for broke, I reminded him of the letter that the Law School sent him inviting him to speak, and asked him if we could host him next semester. Half smirk solidly in place he shook his head no, turned his back again and maneuvered an aide between us. Senator Lieberman (
With no one else to talk to and 15 minutes late to the netroots celebration, CGG and I took that opportunity to leave for more welcoming environs:
When we walked in, we were greeted by Lamont Internet Guru Tim Tagris who let us know that he had already had a call asking him if he was one of the bloggers who crashed the Lieberman Celebration!
Update: Sorry about the formatting, but it should be fixed!
Update II: Here is a scanned invitation to the event. The sign mentioned above was substantially similar - The only differences that I remember from my brief glimpse before it was hermetically sealed away in an undisclosed location are that the sign had the corporate sponsors listed one on top of the other and that there were more sponsors on the sign.
Update III: tparty over at MLN points out the lobbying/sponsorship connection.