February 22nd, 2010

Shots From the Trail: Charlotte Edition

by Philip Baruth

There are a lot of beautiful things about campaign house parties. One, because all of the guests have been invited by someone who is both your friend and an avid supporter, everyone acts as though you’re making sense when you do the living room pitch. Two, you get to attend parties but do none of the vacuuming before or after. And three, you find yourself in some of the most gorgeous spots in the County.

My good friends Mary Lou and John used to live in Burlington, and then they decided to teach their daughter how to ride competitively.

And before they knew it, they were living in Charlotte with a stable full of very sweet and very eccentric horses. Their path in life is now my 1o-year-old daughter Gwendolyn’s vision of utopia.

And Mary Lou and John brought together a crowd of wonderfully social and warm friends for the party. They all listened very politely to my spiel. And then, suddenly, without warning, we segued into the Question and Answer Session Without End.

Usually, you talk for ten or fifteen minutes, and then folks ask questions for another twenty or so. And then everyone returns to grazing the food table for cheese and homemade chili. But not at this party. No. These were people who’d thought deeply about the issues, and had developed some thorny questions over the years.

And so we had maybe an hour and twenty minutes of Q/A. It was like setting out for a quick jog to the mailbox, and suddenly finding yourself enmeshed with a pack of elite runners out for a 15k.

We did single-payer, public option, decommissioning, school budgets, childhood obesity, generational poverty, the creative economy, universal broadband, socioeconomic integration, and everything in between.

And it was a ton of fun. The sort of fun that only engaged political conversation, and a great host-hostess team, can provide. Many thanks to Mary Lou and John. May your horses never fail you, and vice versa.