Monday, September 18, 2006

A small town blogger at a big city press conference

Not being a journalist or a reporter employed by a media outlet, I attend very few press conferences. I can count on one hand the number of press events I've gone to.

Today however I decided to schelp myself down to OMSI for the joint press conference with Guv Ted, Guv Gregoire of Washington State and (via satellite) Guv Ahnold of California. The event was held to announce a combined effort by the western goobernors to improve ocean health.

You'll read the more substantive efforts behind this plan in the mainstream outlets. Jeff Mapes of the O was there ("oh wow, you really do look like a suburban mom!") as well as a very nice AP reporter, a hip looking dude from the Register Guard in Eugene and the TV stations. This info will be provided to you I'm sure in a more skilled manner than I can accomplish.

What they likely won't tell you is the genial manner that is obviously evident between Gregiore and Kulongoski. They seem downright chummy--like dear old friends who enjoy hanging out together. They come across as professional yet with a very good rapport. Things are genuinely warm between them.

They are obviously better acquainted with one another than they are with Schwarzenegger who was tied in via satellite from California. Arnold was very late (LA traffic--imagine that) and his speech was brief. When Ted made a joke at the end saying "Go Ducks", Arnold stood there with a frozen fake smile, wondering what the hell Ted was talking about. It was an awkwardly hilarious moment.

Still--its clear that the three guv caballeros intend to give the feds a tough time when it comes to sovereignty over the west coast beaches. Its seen by them as a states rights issue. They're planning to work together to thwart offshore oil/natural gas drilling and push for alternative fuels.

Schwartzenegger droned on a bit about the specifics of the ocean plan--but lit up when discussing how Democrats and Republicans can work together. He was in full voice saying, "The people must be served" over political interests. Arnold has an ear for the stump.

Climate change and enviornmental policy isn't always a sexy topic that draws in a great interest. But its a very important one. And as Ted pointed out, what happens in Oregon goes way beyond just this state. What we do here effects people all over the place. Its our responsibility to take care of our waterways and oceans. A joint effort will only make that easier.