Friday, March 07, 2003

I had a good time at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Flathead County. Governor Judy Martz (R-MT) was supposed to speak at the event but opted against it due to the ongoing state legislative session. As such, we were treated to an evening with officials from the County and Tri-city planning board, as well as Secretary of State Bob Brown.

Now, as boring as that may sound to some people, it really wasn't. Both of the Planning Board folks made their work sound interesting and it is vital to the Flathead Valley's future, though I must say that one guy from the cities managed to be "about finished" for ten minutes.

Bob Brown was a simple but powerful spokesman for the Republican agenda, encouraging us that we are winning because of what the Democratic Party has become and providing a solid and constructive agenda for Republicans to improve our state.

Few men have impressed me more during my time of following Montana politics than Bob Brown. I've spent hours talking with him on the phone (and when I was in Eureka, I ran up quite a phone bill). Since I first met him in 1993, when he was a State Senator from Whitefish he's taken an interest in me and what I was doing in life. Unlike some political leaders, he understands the importance of getting young people involved in politics. Because of that care and interest, I have a lot of respect for Bob Brown.

He asked me and Jesse Mayhew (a current FVCC student) if we were going to speak. I said, "No." believing he was joking but later found that two young Republicans from Missoula had been allowed to. I could have spoken but I had nothing really to say tonight, so silence is better than empty words. After asking us about our lives and what we were doing, Brown put his hands on our shoulders and reminded us that we were the future.

As for the night itself, I was blessed to end up at a talkative table where I was drawn into the conversation and actually managed to contribute something.

Perhaps, the one thing that makes me nervous about my plans to be involved in public service is my tendency to become very shy in public occassions when I don't know my role. It's very easy to be friendly and outgoing at my wedding reception, or even church events. I know who I am and that I have a right to be approaching people. In the case of an event like the Lincoln Day Dinner, who am I and what am I doing are primary questions that fill my mind.

Of course, this might be because I'm an INFJ personality type . The "I" stands for introverted and I've learned that while some of the temperment stuff is inaccurate, that trait is definitely predominate. Those who see me in my comfort zones won't believe it but take me out of those places where I know what I'm supposed to be doing, I'm incredibly shy. How I overcome that, or use that to my advantage, I don't know but God-willing I'll find away.