Kelly works at Clancy and Theys in Norfolk. They are a good sized builder in the North Carolina/Virginia area and have been around for a while. They built some buildings on the campus of Regent University and were one of the Gold Sponsors of the debate: Clash of the Titans: Countdown to Collapse - Solving America's Economic Crisis
Pam wasn't too interested in going (Game 7 of the World Series was on) so I had the privilege of going with Kelly. On the stage for the debate:
- Robert Gibbs - Long time advisor to President Obama and former White House Press Secretary
- Larry Summers - Former Secretary of the Treasury and President of Harvard
- Alan Simpson - Former Senator from Wyoming and served on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
- Karl Rove - Former Deputy Chief of Staff and Advisor to President George W. Bush
The event was moderated by Brett Baier, anchor of Fox News.
I was struck by the civility of all on stage.
And the good humor despite the differences in the solution.
And these guys are good. They are pros at the top of their game. Every one of them is very smart. Very interesting. All made some good points.
I guess I was most surprised by Alan Simpson. He took his time allotted to say the debt crisis can not be solved but only one thing. We have to do a lot of things. Including raising some taxes, reforming Medicare and Social Security, and reducing spending. A trillion dollars is a large large number to overcome. $13 trillion (or more) is almost incomprehensible. He challenged us all to read the report the commission wrote: The Moment of Truth
And he had more than one humorous quip:
- "You can torture statistics and they will eventually confess…"
And each side said the predictable:
- "We need to invest more in the economy (more stimulus) and raise taxes on millionaires…" - and
- "We need to curb spending and we don't need more taxes in this already bad economy…"
blah blah blah….
What I found most interesting were the men themselves and how they spoke, countered the other side and sprinkled humor throughout. It is a very serious subject but sadly in this day and age all agreed that 'compromise' of previous days in politics has given way to mistrust where that is no longer possible.
I can't tell you how much fun it was to sit there and listen to each of these guys. No one came up with a new idea but it was interesting none the less. The fact that each got to speak for four or five minutes a couple of times was better than what we have been getting on the TV with the recent Republican debates.
So that was on Friday night with Kelly. On Saturday we drove up to Fairfax from Virginia Beach and are staying with friends. We were here to see Adam run the Marine Corps Marathon.
What an impressive event. We got up on Sunday shortly after 5 AM and rode the Metro to the Pentagon and walked over to the starting line.
We found them before the race and they were pretty pumped up. And a little cold. It was in the high 30's/low 40's.
Kelly made up some signs
We developed a plan to ride the Metro to various spots along the race route and predict when they would be coming by. We positioned ourselves at about mile 10 near the Lincoln Memorial and waited about an hour for them.
But we missed them. So we went to mile 12 and waited. I pulled out my camera and waited but didn't seem them. And then they ran by….
We saw them but it was too quick to get the camera out, turn it on, get a good picture….
There were a lot of different scenes and emotions during the day.
I was a beautiful day for a run after it warmed up.
After about 5 hours we moved over to near mile 26 to see them.
He looked great near the end. But the last .2 miles was straight up hill to the Iwo Jima Memorial. We missed that part of it thinking we'd be able to get a better picture here.
The finish came at 5:30. We were so happy for them and glad they made it. It was one of those experiences that will be with them forever.
Happy. And tired. And hobbling around. You could tell who the marathoners were. Most were the ones with the smile of accomplishment on their faces and the wobble 'my body hurts all over' walk.
We found them over in Rosslyn which was all closed down. What a mob scene. 30,000 runners. 120,000 spectators…
It was a big and busy weekend for us but memorable on many accounts. I will never forget being with Kelly at the debates where I got to see and get my picture taken with some pretty heavy hitters on the political scene.
And then to share in Adam's first marathon. It was great.
That is about it for this looong edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles. Thanks for joining us. Have a Happy Halloween! Until next time...