In case you think all I do is go from Irish pub to Irish pub, I want to make something very clear: I do occasionally run into politicians. For instance, I rode the hotel elevator with Rick Santorum. I was tempted to ask him where he called home these days, but he was with his family so I refrained. On the shuttle bus to the Xcel Center I sat near Chris Hackett, a young Republican running for Congress against freshman Democrat Chris Carney for Pennsylvania's 10th District seat. He had to tell me the 10th covers the northeast corner of the state.
I overheard him say he was on the docket to speak Monday night. That all changed when the game was called on account of hurricane. His speech was set for 5 PM and was about two minutes long. He was one of only two challengers asked to speak. I asked him how he felt about the postponed convention. "John McCain exhibited the leadership we expect from our presidential candidate," Hackett replied. "He put America's needs first and the celebration second." Spoken like a seasoned politician. "That's one of the unique things about this country," he continued, "we put our fellow Americans first." I may not agree with all of his political views, but I agree with him about that.
Hackett was on his way to the airport to return to the campaign trail. He said he was excited to have been asked to speak but that he had no resentment about losing his spot. "When I heard the president had been reduced to eight minutes, I didn't feel so bad."