Congressman Bob Goodlatte talked before a packed house (including a guy wearing an orange hat, which he left in the seat to take photos)>
OK, gather up your bruised tomatoes, your old eggs and your worst language. Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R) said tonifght that he's planning more than just the "teletown" meetings this trip home. He'll have a couple of live ones and you Democrats can give him the business in the way the Repubs have been savaging people like Tom Perriello (D-7th District).
Actually, I was chatting with Goodlatte before he gave a talk on presidential homes at the History Museum tonight and I mentioned to him that I was on the phone recruiting some of my peeps to come disrupt his talk this evening when my wife butted in with, "DAN SMITH! It's not that kind of meeting. Now you be nice!" So I did, but I promised the congressman we'd be there for the fireworks.
Goodlatte's "teletown" meetings (is that related to teletubbies?) are a way of meeting the constituents without actually getting any spit on you. They call in, get into a cue on the telephone line and ask civilized--screened, I'd bet--calls in a polite manner. I told Bob I thought it was wise--and gutsy--of him to do the real town meeting. That is participatory democracy and since he's willing to expose himself to that democracy in action, I think it is incumbent upon the loyal opposition to clobber him.
In any case, Goodlatte has visited homes of most of our presidents and he gave an interesting talk tonight. He doesn't know how many homes qualify under his loose definition as a "presidential home," but he thinks it "could be hundreds," many of them still occupied by somebody or other, some closed to the public, others lived in, but not available for visits. He says he's visited some of those: "I did what politicians do--knocked on the door. Met some nice people."
Virginia has eight presidential home sites: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Wilson and Harrison, which are open; Tyler and Zach Taylor, which are not. I found it facinating that two presidents--Nixon and Harding--lived in Sears kit homes in California and Ohio. We saw a presentation on Sears homes a couple of months ago.
So there's your travelogue and your marching orders. When Goodlatte announces his town hall meetings, mark your calendar. And say howdy to me when you get there. I'll be the guy on the front row with the orange hat.