Monday, January 12, 2009

Good Bye GVV

Some of you may have seen the news today that my old boss, Senator Voinovich, has decided to retire in 2010, at the end of his current term.

I have very mixed emotions about this. As he says in the statement on his web site, our nation is going through some of its most difficult times since the Great Depression. This could either inspire someone into public service or make them shy away. I have no doubt that if he were 40 years younger, the Senator wouldn't be going anywhere. But life as a Member of Congress is exhausting. Voting until 2am. Flying back and forth from DC to Ohio every weekend (which some Members don't do, but Senator Voinovich does). Maintaining two residences. 14 hour days with back-to-back-to-back-to-back meetings. Hundreds of policy and political memos. Nightly fundraisers. This is taxing to the youngest members. It must be even more taxing to someone who has been in political life for over 40 years.

I have such a great and profound respect for the Senator, perhaps more so than any other politician. I am proud of the times he has stood up for what he believed it, even if it wasn't popular, even if the party didn't like it. I am proud of the times he has stood up to the media (my favorite would be when The Other Paper in Columbus declared him the "Sexiest Man in Washington). I have a deep admiration for the love he has for his family, especially his wife. "Mrs. V" is truly the love of his life and we should all be so blessed to have a marriage that wonderful, that loving, that strong.

Most of all, I am most proud to have worked for him for five years. My first job was with his office. I started as a lowly intern and worked my way up. I can firmly say that were it not for him, and the opportunities afforded to me, I would not be where I am today. It saddens me to see him retire, but it makes me smile to think of him fishing with his grandkids, his "babe" by his side.

Thank you, Senator Voinovich, for everything. You will be sorely missed.

No comments: