"It was a fairly low-key event that brought House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and our esteemed Congressman Ben Ray Lujan to Santa Fe..."
It was a fairly low-key event that brought House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and our esteemed Congressman Ben Ray Lujan to Santa Fe on Monday morning. Both spoke at the Mary Esther Gonzales Senior Center to a small crowd of Santa Fe’s senior citizens.
The compare and contrast moments were unavoidable. For the men, the politicians from northern New Mexico were comfortable in their bolo ties and belt buckles of silver and turquoise. So classic Santa Fe. The Washington contingent were a bit of a giggle in their dark suits, talking into their lapels. Congressman Lujan managed the perfect balance in his open-collared shirt and khakis. I was reassured to see his sleeves rolled up with the amount of work in front of him these days. He was a master of sincere glad-handing. He reminds me sometimes of Bruce King, but thankfully he doesn’t say “Howdy Howdy.”
This was a great event for Bolo Tie Bingo (credit Ariel White), where the first person to spot five bolo ties on New Mexico politicians wins a cup of coffee. Double points if they have the belt buckle. I won in under a minute.
For the women, the New Mexico politicians like Patti Bushee wore comfortable cottons, appropriate for a hot day in the desert. Nancy looked a little warm in her blue suit but, as always, was right at home talking about social security and medicare. She directly addressed the Social Security = Ponzi Scheme quote. She vowed to continue her efforts to protect both Social Security and Medicare without increasing the deficit.
Of course the discourse evolved into the “ain’t it awful….” conversation about not being able to raise taxes on the wealthiest 2%. The audience there Monday felt safe in their knowledge that their benefits would probably last their lifetimes. But what was a real concern was what about their kids? Those seniors in the room have children and grandchildren in the workforce. They own or work for New Mexico businesses and they work hard. Congressman Lujan reminded them that he always stands up for New Mexico's working families.
Congressman Lujan had a rough week last week dealing with a false accusation. Sources close to Lujan say that was just silly ~ “The man can barely handle a cup of coffee.” Leader Pelosi said “Congressman Lujan has more energy than anyone I know.” I think he gets that from his inexhaustible drive, not coffee.
The issue of the Super Congress came up and Pelosi reiterated her desires for this committee to reflect total transparency. Noting the importance of what will be happening, she said “We must succeed at that table.”
With so many complex issues in front of them, I for one wish all of our representatives strength and perseverance. New Mexico’s economy, businesses and workforce are hoping for the best. I wonder, are we preparing for the worst, too?