Now that it’s cold outside, it’s always nice to be able to take pictures of the Capitol Building from inside. I got another chance during a live shot from the usual Russell Rotunda. While walking around to our live location I looked out the window and from that vantage point the Capitol Building looked huge.
In the Capitol Buildings everything looks old, and that’s what I like about them. But old places can be kinda creepy. While my camera left this a little under-exposed, the lights along the hallways in the Russell Senate Building do little to assure you that it would be possible to escape safely when running from ghosts (or monsters, or whatever). Still cool stuff though.
Next up in the media frenzy: Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME). She bucked her party earlier this week by voting for a democratic health care reform bill. That’s right, a democratic health care bill! And she’s a republican! She must have been insane! There’s a reason why jedi’s don’t go to the dark side!
But you are about to see a perfect example of that media blitz I spoke about in an earlier post. Senator Snowe quickly became what many were calling “the most powerful woman in DC”, a “rebel republican”, and even “the health care heathen” (guess which one I just made up). Her PR guy was smart and booked her on every news show that would take her.
Senator Snowe pretaped her interview with us, which is often how these interviews are done. Many times when you see a big newsmaker on TV the interview is conducted before the show and then spliced in to make it look live. This is done because everyone wants to have the interview at the same exact time in their show, and Senators, unlike the rest of us, can’t be in two places at the same time. You can tell this has been done when there isn’t a ‘LIVE’ bug up in the right corner of the screen. There is your TV secret of the day.
She shuffled around the Russell Rotunda, going from camera to camera, saying variations of the same thing into each of them.
Senator Snowe and I spoke briefly before our interview with her, and I had the perfect conversation starter. See, my cousin married one of her previous aides, and when I asked about him she exclaimed, “Oh Charlie!” (in a thick New England accent). “I see him and his wife Ruth (my cousin) all the time!” I also reminded her that we had met previously when I was privelaged enough to get one of her tickets to President George W. Bush’s first inauguration in 2001, something I still have nightmares about.
The lighting was different this time so more pictures were in order. I swear, I will volunteer to do every congressional live shot before I leave just to get the opportunity to use this lighting. It was different this time because there were four different cameras all shining lights in different directions. I like the shadows on this one:
And I would be remiss to not mention the man that this whole building was named after. Senator Richard B. Russell was a democrat from Georgia who served from 1933 until 1971 when he died at the ripe old age of 73. Having been the longest serving Senator at the time, they dedicated the building to him the next year. Looking over the Russell Rotunda from below, he would have been proud of Senator Snowe for her efforts to pass bipartisan health care reform. Actually, I have no idea if he would have been proud, but it seemed like a really dramatic way to end the post with the picture I wanted to use. Cheers!