Hey Big Daddy,
The state Republican Party meets this weekend in San Jose for the
convention–and I’m going. I’m a Capitol staffer in his mid-20s, and I’ve
never been to a convention before, but I’ve heard a lot about them. My only
duties are to schmooze with people and represent my boss before the
attendees, and after that my time is my own. But at night, I want to have
fun. Do you have any suggestions for the best way to have fun at a political
convention? Basically, I want to drink and meet women, but do you think that
might reflect on my boss, who is a family values kind of guy?
Ah, political conventions. They remind me of my youth, growing up in north
Texas, because both of them are just filled with the aroma of what comes out
of the business end of a cow that’s been sittin’ out in the sun just a bit
too long. Oh, it may look and sound a lot prettier down in San Jose, but
there aren’t enough blue blazers and regimental ties on earth to turn that
cow excess into something that would be enjoyable for three days.
Three things that fascinate me about modern political conventions. The first
is why a group of homemakers from Tulare County actually thinks the governor
is going to care one lick about their resolution urging him to do something.
The second is the amount of time and ink journalists spend covering these
things, then try to justify it by manufacturing some kind of convention
“news.” And the third is just how down right easy it used to be to have a
little fun and avoid the repercussions that would come with similar
activities outside of the convention hall.
In Big Daddy’s day, nobody had to worry about embarrassing anybody because
chances were, the journalists and other troublemakers were right there
beside you at the bar, tossing down a few Johnnie Walker Reds of their own.
After all, what else is there really to do in San Jose? Back then, reporters
were a lot more interested in playing cards and making a few eyes at the
ladies than they were in trying to get a byline above the fold. I guess the
papers don’t provide drinking budgets like they used to.
It’s good to have goals, son, and if your goal is to drink, meet women, and
not embarrass your boss, then by God that’s what you ought to do. Political
conventions tend to be a lot like Vegas in that what happens there is
supposed to stay there, though given today’s how-petty-can-things-get
climate that exists in Sacramento, I understand your trepidation about
having a little interlude with a delegate from Weed and seeing it splashed
across the pages of Capitol Weekly.
Therefore, Big Daddy suggests the following: Act like a gentleman,
especially in public. This is good advice, regardless of whether you’re at a
convention in San Jose or on a bar stool at Posey’s. Use your daytime
schmoozing activities to lay the ground work for your nighttime playmaking.
After hours, alternate your JWR orders with plenty of water to stay
hydrated. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Then, when the
moment’s right–and if you don’t know when the moment’s right, Big Daddy
doesn’t have enough column inches to explain that to you–feel free to drop a
few political names or tell them how you and you alone can get them onto the
Assembly floor when they’re in Sacramento. If that doesn’t roll back the
heels of the female members of the Plumas County Central Committee faithful,
nothing else will.