It’s election season once again, and I decided to drop by Bellevue University to check out a debate between 2nd District Congressman Lee Terry and his would-be opponent, Tom White. I went in with an open mind, already more or less decided on my vote, but I was somewhat disappointed when the “debate” quickly turned into an exchange of personal attacks. To be specific, all Tom White seemed to want to talk about was Lee Terry’s alleged conversation with a female lobbyist, much to the irritation of his wife in the front row and most of the audience. I’d much rather hear from each candidate what they’d do differently in Washington instead of why I shouldn’t vote for the other guy.
I have to admit one thing about Lee Terry — he’s awfully easy to run into in Omaha. He regularly holds coffees with Lee at local restaurants and hosts town hall meetings, which makes it easy for noisy constituents to come and complain to him about things. The one moment that stands out to me most, however, was when I bumped into him at Deitz music shop down on Cornhusker while doing some Christmas shopping. There’s something that makes you feel quite warm and fuzzy to know you can just run into your own congressman like any other human being, that he’s not walled off in some fortress of solitude back in Washington. He was buying his son a guitar for Christmas, so I didn’t do much other than shake his hand and say hello, but it felt good to know I could tell him what was on my mind as well.
Now if only I could bump into Ben Nelson the same way.