Those of you who know me know I am a political junkie. I need my daily fix of news and politics or I end up shaking and babbling in the corner somewhere going through painful withdrawals. Usually this comes in the form of watching CSPAN and visiting a wide variety of news and political sites on the internet. Once in a while, however, I get a treat and Tuesday was one of those times.
I was invited to a meet and greet with Dr. Art Robinson, Republican candidate for Oregon 4th district running against Representative Peter DeFazio. I figured I was in for an hour of listening to someone campaign and my presence would be acknowledged, but that would be about it. Instead what I got was an hour sitting right next to Dr. Robinson engaged in conversation about issues what he thought, what I thought, and very little about his opponent. In fact I do not think Dr. Robinson actually mentioned his opponent during our conversation.
For someone in the final stretches of a campaign this was a delightful surprise. In today’s world of constant mudslinging and partisan bickering I expected to at least hear some trash talk of the opponent, but no none. Dr. Robinson was more interested in what I had to say about issues and where he stood on those issues.
Another thing that kind of surprised me was he did not follow up everything with an answer. Dr. Robinson was genuinely interested in what I had to say. Usually when you talk to politicians during campaign season you get a lot of “I hear you, and this is what I will do to fix it.” It probably helps that Dr. Robinson is not a politician, but instead is a scientist and researcher.
I will also point out that at no time during our conversation did I mention I was a writer, or that I wrote for the OC. He had no reason to think I was nothing more than a college student that was taking the time to come meet him before heading home to my wife and kids.
I was impressed with Dr. Robinson before I met him and I am glad to say he did nothing to change those opinions. If you have a chance to meet him I hope people will take the opportunity to do so. Talk to him, listen to what he has to say, do your own research, and then make your decision Tuesday.