The candidate comes to town

Pam Droog Jones

Pam Droog Jones

As the November elections draw near, I’m reminded of the 2008 campaign when John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his candidate for vice president. His announcement took all the attention away from the Democratic convention and Barack Obama’s inspiring acceptance speech. I truly had some moments of panic, since at first it looked like McCain scored a real coup.

As Palin’s appearances increasingly aroused hysteria, I was fearful for Obama and for our nation. At the height of it all, just before the election, Palin paid a visit to Jefferson City, Missouri. She was scheduled to speak in the morning at the Capitol steps, less than one block from where I worked at the time. It bothered me that this majestic, historic building would be used for something so personally offensive.

I already was agitated as I walked from the parking garage to my office door. Seeing the crowds streaming toward the Capitol, mostly older couples and women, the majority dressed in red, white and blue and waving American flags, really distressed me. My colleagues invited me to go with them to hear the speech, “just for the heck of it,” but I couldn’t face the spectacle. I stayed behind and seethed in my office. I can recall being disturbed like that, physically and emotionally, just a few other times: when Bill Clinton was impeached, when the Supreme Court anointed George W. Bush and when a bust of Rush Limbaugh was placed in our beautiful Capitol a few months ago.

My colleagues returned and said I didn’t miss much. After a while I settled down and got back to work.