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On the Road to White House

On the Road to White House

I stepped on 19th Street in DC on June 8. White House is located on the 17th Street on the Connecticut Avenue. With the Presidential poll just five months away, the DC area is eerily calm. Campaign fever is yet to catch up with the locals. Unbelievable!
Unlike in India…
Will it be Obama for the second term or Romney?

My friend Suparno dropped on the 19th Street near Verizon office. It’s 9am.
The June sun was blazing. For an Indian like me, I’m lovin’ it; it’s just 32 degrees. The office goers were busy-footing along the streets.
I walked up to 15th street and walked into Washington Post office. I was told without appointment I can’t get in. The young lady at the reception gave me a number 202-334-6000. I was told to call the number and fix up an appointment.
I stood enthralled at the office building. This is where Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein worked and broke the news of the Watergate scandal in 1972-74.
And that led to the downfall of President Nixon in 1974.
The Watergate was a political scandal that occurred in the US in the 1970s as a result of the June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. The Nixon administration attempted to cover-up its involvement.
I saw the movie All the President’s Men in 1976 and was inspired by the investigative journalism carried out by these two journalists (played by incredible duo Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford).
As I was standing at the reception, I saw a huge photo of Eugene Meyer (1875-1959), the great American publisher who emphasized seven doctrines of newspaper conduct.
What a journalist should do in pursuit of truth!
Wow!
As I was stepping out of the Post office, I saw a middle-aged man sitting on the steps of the office building. His name is Salle. He was laid off a year ago. He is a nutritionist. He is looking for a job. He has got a temp job today and he will work for 5 hours at the WP office.
What will he do at newspaper’s office? I wondered.
He said he would do some temp work and earn $12 an hour. So, by the end of the day he will earn just $60. Well, not $60; he will have to pay tax and he will get even less.
Tomorrow he doesn’t know what he will do. He was polite and was answering all my questions with patience.
Who will win this year’s Presidential election? I asked.
“Obama … He should be given another term,” Salle said.
“Even many Republicans don’t like Matt Romney,” he added. Salle also pointed out Obama’s “middle-of-the-road” performance.
I told Salle that I was reading Romney’s No Apology and I was hardly impressed by what he has written in his book. (I went to Barnes and Noble bookstores in Rockville on June 7 and bought the book)
The victory of Romney, I told him, won’t be good for American people. He’s so conceited and arrogant.
What really surprises me is Americans aren’t too keen on the November Presidential election. With the election barely five months away, the locals hardly bother about it. Even Salle said, “I am not focusing on the President’s poll. Maybe, around Sept-Oct, I’ll think of it.”
I wished Salle good luck and left.

Pankaj Adhikari in Washington DC

Day 2: Suparno dropped me again near Verizon office building on the 19th Street. A little cloudy today. As I was walking toward 17th Street, I met an elderly person called Gary. He works for Dept of Veteran Affairs. I told him that I was tad surprised that the Washingtonians seemed to be quite passive about the November poll. Gary said: “Yup, poll is still quite far away. Maybe the election fever will catch up in August or September.”
Who’ll win the November election? I asked.
Is Obama going to get second term?
He said: “I’m counting on that. But, it’d be a close fight.”
Romney is not popular among many Republicans. Is that true? I asked.
“Yeah, Conservative Republicans aren’t with Romney,” Gary said.

Kolkata, Sing and US 041


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