My Little Experiment

Back in 2016, I had the unique opportunity to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.I had never been to a political convention before, nor had I been involved in party politics, but the Senator was a delegate at the convention and I tagged along for the ride.

When I wasn’t acting as Cliff’s personal photographer, I became starstruck by all the members of the media we had rubbed shoulders with in the convention hall.

During the opening ceremony that first evening, I sat up in the rafters and decided to follow the media on Twitter. I figured it was the place where all the cool kids were hanging out and it would be helpful to follow what was going on down below on the floor.

I was also curious about how Twitter was being used for political messaging.  Trump had recently pioneered the platform for this purpose and I remember sitting up there, following what was being said in the arena and reading what was being reported on Twitter and thinking, huh? Is this for real?

What was actually happening on the floor and what the media were tweeting as a result were night and day! So much of the commentary seemed clouded in personal bias or twisted to fit a narrative being promoted, but it certainly wasn’t an honest or accurate depiction of the event. It was a fascinating experiment to watch live and read about it simultaneously.

I still follow the media on Twitter and it has become like a sport for me.  It is a place where I get my news and fake news. I can tell when the narrative is damaging to one side of the aisle based on the twitter feed of various “reporters” or if Twitter censors a certain story or individual.  I read about all the current trends, polling data, and mini dramas on my Twitter feed. This may or may not be a healthy habit, so if you know about a Twitter 12 Step program, I am probably a good candidate.

 

Political Prom

Last Saturday evening was the Speaker’s Ball in Oklahoma, an event that signals the Legislative Session is drawing near. I penned a few reviews of past Speaker’s Balls we attended while Cliff was in the Legislature. You can read about those HERE, HERE and HERE. The theme, venue and beneficiary of the proceeds changes with every Speaker of the House, which keeps things interesting.

We did not go this year because I was in charge of another event benefiting the Oklahoma Contemporary Museum of Art. So, still had a chance to play dress up and momentarily feel like a princess just at a different venue!  It was fun and my Senator in a tux did not disappoint.

If you read this and attended the 2020 Speaker’s Ball, please send me your pics!! Dying to know what I missed!

The official start to the legislative session in Oklahoma begins next week and the Governor appears to be on a goodwill tour speaking about his agenda and providing people with a glimpse of his goals for our state. Honestly, he needs all the goodwill he can get considering he is still in a dispute with the Tribes…but, I’m not gonna go there. And, it’s also rumored that his Senior Advisor, (Donelle Harder), the individual who is writing the State of the State is resigning. Oy!

My Senator will have an opportunity to hear the Gov. speak at Rotary today.  Did you know, that Rotary Club 29, located in Oklahoma City, is the largest Rotary Club in the WORLD!?  Who would ever guess that to be the case considering the size of our City…unless you know the people who live here and their dedication to serving others. Can’t wait to hear about today’s meeting and kinda of bummed I didn’t get the invite to go as his guest haha.

Oklahoma’s Turnaround

Alternative Headline: Why I voted for Kevin Stitt!

I had the opportunity to meet Kevin Stitt last spring. The story of how my family met Kevin is probably no more unique than the next persons, but it has been a pretty cool experience in politics from the sidelines and worth a post. Especially since my last post was nearly TWO YEARS AGO!!!

So here is how this happened…..My dad belongs to a group in Oklahoma City comprised of some CEO’s and businessmen who meet once a week to hear a speaker or learn about something of interest going on in the state. Each member is responsible for inviting a speaker and planning the meeting. When my dad’s turn rolled around in January of 2018, he asked me and the Senator if we had any ideas for a political figure since it was an election year. The Lt. Governor (who was running for Governor) and the Mayor of Oklahoma City (also running for Governor) had already addressed the group which narrowed the field of high profile choices somewhat.

In full honesty, I hadn’t much thought about the 2018 election cycle to be able to point him in the right direction, so I did a little research and stumbled upon a candidate in the Governor’s race who peaked my interest. There was a guy, originally from Norman, who went to college in Stillwater and was currently a successful businessman from Tulsa… an outsider to politics. The more I read about him, the more I liked and encouraged my dad to reach out to his campaign with an invitation to speak. So he did.

As you might imagine, not many people had heard of this candidate and most people in my dad’s business club had already hitched their wagon to someone else’s gubernatorial campaign. Stitt was not familiar with government or politics and like many Oklahomans, hadn’t even voted in recent elections much less been involved in the political process. I am sure that didn’t go over well with my dad’s business club….or maybe it did, because this Stitt guy from Tulsa was in the Governor’s race for ALL the right reasons.

Kevin came to speak at that early January meeting and then circled back to speak at another meet and greet my mom and dad enthusiastically hosted in their home.

At my mom and dad’s meet and greet.

He talked about making Oklahoma a top ten state in everything from education and infastructure to addressing our incredibly high incarceration rates. What made Kevin different from other candidates (who also talked about those very same topics), aside from not being a career politician, was his realization that the state needs to make some structural changes in the way we do business. (Can we get an Amen!!!)

From that point forward, the Senator and I were ALL IN – in terms of helping Kevin get elected. Our state was in desperate need of structural change and new ideas. Being slightly familiar with the political scene (said ever so smugly), we were convinced he had the right vision, business acumen and leaderhsip for moving our state forward. We also knew that more people needed to hear his message!! The Senator and I sent out letters to friends and extended friends, held two fundraising events in our home, waived signs by polling stations and kept both Kevin, Sarah and their six kids in our prayers. Politics is rough and this guy needed a full suit of armor and support.

First fundraiser in our home.

Second Fundraiser in our home.

Campaigning on campus….is that legal!!?
Meeting the VP….pretty cool opportunity!

Fast forward to today and the official inauguration of Oklahoma’s 28th Governor, Kevin Stitt. Incidentally, the sun is shining. Energy, optimism and hope are abundant. Oklahoma’s turnaround has commenced.