No, I am not organizing my closets, but rather it is organizational day today at the marble palace for my Senator. I have often wondered why the legislature meets on the first Tuesday in January prior to the beginning of a new legislative session…. so I asked him. My Senator explained to me that they convene at this time to officially elect their leadership. Simple enough. Never mind that the first day of the official legislative session begins on Monday, February 7th! Roughly one month later!

On that first day when the opening bell rings, the members will report to their respective chamber for a roll call. Just like in school, except they actually get paid for showing up…to the tune of thousands of $$$$ a day in my great state. I bet you didn’t know that each member who lives more than 50 miles from the capitol also gets paid a per diem for his/her travels and lodging each way. Nice, huh.

Anyway, after roll call on the opening day, the members usually caucus briefly, then head over to the House side where the Governor gives his (in this case, her) state of the state address. Following their remarks, the members might have a committee meeting or a caucus meeting depending on what is happening (i.e. what scandal is breaking) at the time and the first day of session comes to a close.

So, back to this organizational day. Here is what typically happens. The bell rings, roll is taken, the members officially cast their votes for leadership positions (such as Speaker of the House, or President Pro Temp of the Senate), a few introductions are made and they call it a day. Costing the taxpayers roughly how much again?

Now, don’t you think it would make more sense to save those tax payer dollars by convening on the first day of the actual session to do all of that? I mean, they could call roll, caucus, elect their leaders, meet jointly to listen to the Governor and put in a full days worth. Just saying.

The only thing standing in the way of my more efficient way to spend your taxpayer dollars is the Oklahoma Constitution. Evidently, the state constitution mandates that the Legislature convene on the first Tuesday of the year in what will be a new legislative session. I am sure there is a mighty fine explanation for this somewhere. I hope there is because I think I may have provided you with a much more streamlined approach for conducting the state’s business.

Okay, stepping down off my soapbox… So, today my Senator will be casting his vote for President Pro Temp of the Senate and I will be walking the halls of the Longworth Building in Washington D.C. Our Congressman is being sworn in up there and I’ll be watching it live.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and run into my new friend, John.

We’ll see.

Dear John,

I watched your speech with anticipation last night as the Republicans picked up enough seats to claim the majority in the House of Representatives.  You will be their next leader, and I am looking forward to watching you as you set the legislative agenda for our country. Prior to last night, I was unfamiliar with your story, how you have worked hard at so many different jobs and truly lived the American dream.  I thank you for sharing that so eloquently with the American people. In fact, many of your newest members share similar stories.

I am a wife and mother living in Oklahoma and I care deeply for our country.  I feel incredibly fortunate to have been born here and want a better future filled with endless opportunities for my children and grandchildren.  I long for them to dream, and dream big knowing that they live in America, the land of the free and home of the brave.  I want them to believe that with hard work, patience and perseverance, anything is possible.  My husband and I have worked hard to instill in them those same values and ideals upon which our country was founded.

However, our children have been learning a different lesson from the examples being set in Washington.  They hear volumes of denigrating, partisan rhetoric and observe career politicians who serve for personal gain. They see a heavy handed government that acts as if it holds the solution to every problem, a wasteful government that punishes success and spends our money in frivolous fashion.

My children know better.  I think you know better.  I hope and pray that you do.  You now have an extraordinary opportunity to lead our country back to those timeless principles upon which it was founded.  Godspeed and good luck Mr. Speaker, we’re rooting for you! Our children’s future depends on it.

Sincerely,  a Senator’s wife in Oklahoma

A Different Perspective

Much is being made out of a comment from a gubernatorial debate last week in Oklahoma where the two candidates running for Governor are female.  This election is historic in the sense that one of them will serve as the first female Governor of Oklahoma.

I know, I know….we are a little late to that dance.  However, seeing that we were the 46th state to enter the Union, I think we can take a ‘hall pass’ on that one!

None the less, during this particular debate both women- who have campaigned as conservatives (no surprise there – after all, we are in Oklahoma) were asked what sets them apart.  How were they different from one another?

The now infamous comment that followed has sparked a debate….and one you can read about here and here.

It was also on The View yesterday.

And, Good Morning America this morning.  No secret that this hot topic is being discussed all across the country.  But, I ask you, does it really matter that one of the candidates is married with children and the other isn’t?

I’m not sure.  I can only speak for myself when I say that my perspective about life was much different before I met the Senator and we started our family.  Prior to motherhood I know I looked at the world differently. I was all about me, trying to succeed.  I had an important job, my own apartment, a fun social life, and I even managed to volunteer in the community.  I had no cares, no one else to worry about, no one else to take care of… just me.  Politically,  I wanted to save the world, fight for the underdog and let government take care of everyone else.  Commendable?  Sure.

Now, I worry about the world and how each critical issue will impact our family and my children’s future.  I still manage to volunteer in the community, but I have less free time.  Politically, I know that people seem to solve more problems than any government. I mean, that’s what moms do on a daily basis, right?  Solve problems…..

So, does being a wife and mother affect how I look at things?  Definitely.

Does having children ever sway my political beliefs?  Absolutely!  Having a family has made me more responsible, accountable and protective of my surroundings because I have a vested interest in their future.

Does it make me a better person?  I don’t know.  I can say that I care much less about myself and my own personal self-interests, and more about what happens to my husband, our children and the world around us.  Am I more compassionate?  Maybe….but in a different way and about different things.

Does being a wife and mother make me more qualified to serve in public office? I don’t think so.
 It just provides a different perspective…..that’s all.