I got an invitation (as did many others on the Ron Paul compaign donor list) to have a fund-raising dinner with Ron Paul. As I was taking the train back from New York through Philadelphia to Washington this weekend, and the dinner was in Philadelphia, I stopped for a couple of hours to attend the dinner. I gave my $300 student donation (and this is not the first time I’ve donated), and was granted access to the dinner.
When I got there, there were only a couple of people waiting, so I was third in line to get my picture taken with Dr. Paul. On the way to the picture station, he cut through the line in front of me, and while doing so, shook my hand and said hello. He’s really a genuinely nice guy, and though he’s from Pennsylvania and has been “out in the world” for some time, he’s got a little Texas twang which only sounds every now and again.
After the picture (which will be up soon, once I get it from their Flickr stream), we went in and sat at tables. You can see from the picture attached to the post how close I was to Dr. Paul, his wife Carol, and their granddaughter for the dinner! If I hadn’t been put at such ease by meeting the good Doctor, and one of the campaign people, and finally all the people at my table, I might have been a bit nervous, but I really wasn’t. It was a bit like an extended family gathering, and everyone there was warm and friendly.
Carol, Dr. Paul’s wife, started the evening with a few typo corrections in the Ron Paul Family Cookbook that we got, and then explained what various members of the Paul family were doing aside from the campaign. (Her granddaughter was taking a semester off to travel with the campaign before finishing her college work in Texas.) She then introduced her husband of 55 years (!), and Dr. Paul spoke for just under 20 minutes. They both got standing ovations, and the speech was well done and covered all the basic classic libertarian talking points. The speech itself was only about fifteen minutes, but there was a good amount of clapping throughout.
As I was having dinner with a sitting Congressman, I anticipated metal detectors, ID checks, and a thorough scan of my bag. There was nothing! I simply gave my name, they gave me my name tag, and in I went! Several other people at the table were remarking about this as well, but you see – that’s how it should work. There was trust on the part of the campaign, and the people gave them no reason not to trust us. There was a security person at the dinner this evening (or at least a burly guy standing in the front of the room off to the side looking menacing), but I imagine he has a very boring job. Of course, that’s how it should be.