Coupla Top Dogs

September 23, 2021

Somebody had some pull (hint: it wasn’t me). I say this because on a very busy night in the US House of Representatives, when members were on the floor voting on some very high profile pieces of legislation, on their way to advancing key elements of President Biden’s legislative agenda, and maneuvering every which way on the huge infrastructure and reconciliation budget bills, the Speaker of the House herself, and our very own Congressman, were on a Zoom call with little ol’ us.. 100 of us Davis folks!

Hats off to the organizers (the VERBS, a small group of Davis friends, all of whom have pretty significant experience in the realms of politics and elections, oh.. and some great connections) who made all the arrangements for tonight’s fundraiser. I mean really! A Thursday evening online fundraiser for a race that is 13 months away.. with two very top dogs as guests on an otherwise very newsworthy night of legislative sausage making.

It’s not hard to get a congressman to show up for his own fundraiser (especially when it has been recently learned that he is one of four California congress members being targeted in 2022 by republican strategists who think, with newly drawn district lines, he may be vulnerable, and they’d love to take a seat from a very popular representative in a solid and safe blue district) because raising money is a huge part of the job. But tonight was tricky, and he had to excuse himself a couple of times to go vote.

Here he is standing outside the Capitol. When they needed him for a vote, he’d skidaddle off, but then he’d come back.

What surprised me, though, was that Nancy Pelosi was able to Zoom in. And she stayed on when John G. had to go vote so she could answer our questions. It’s not like she didn’t have a trillion things on her mind tonight as she’s been marshaling her members, or meeting with Biden, or strategizing next steps in a legislative session people are calling historic. I’d seen her on the news this afternoon, surrounded by reporters yelling questions at her about whether she could unite the seemingly intractable factions of congressional democrats. All day long, commentators have been in a tizzy about which wing might capitulate — the moderate dems or the progressive dems — or whether either would, rendering Biden’s entire agenda toast. She kept saying this is how the process works, stay calm, she was calm, they are where she wants them to be, all will be resolved by the Monday deadline. Everything rides on whatever solution she can guide her members toward, and everyone says she’s got this.

Does this look like a woman who is worried?

It’s not a great picture (a random screen shot), but I will say she was relaxed and told some funny stories about knowing John for 40 years and about a party they went to back when their kids were wee ones.

Well, it was fun to be a little part of their evening and hear about what’s currently on the docket, what’s at stake, their optimism for the outcome of votes in the days and weeks to come, the urgency to hang onto the House, etc.

Before the call, we’d already raised $35,000. The VERBS asked everyone to give a little more after the call. It will be interesting to see how much more we raised.

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