Blogging from the Campaign Trail, Eleanor Baumgartner, wife of U.S. Senate candidate and State Sen. Michael Baumgartner

Hi Everyone,

We’ve had a tremendous week on the Baumgartner campaign!

The big event was the Washington State Convention in Tacoma. I was there Friday and Saturday, along with more than 2,000 delegates from across the state. What great positive energy!

I was especially proud of Michael’s campaign speech on Friday morning explaining why he is running for US Senate! It was fantastic and in case you missed it, you can watch it here:

The even bigger event was that Conrad turns one this week!  We celebrated his birthday at the convention with cake and punch, helped by a few hundred of our supporters and a great assist from former US Senator Slade Gorton.

The Senator shared a Gorton family tradition where a bottle, a coin and a book are placed before a child on their first birthday as a fun way to help predict their future career. Choosing the book predicts a future scholar (that’s the choice Slade said he made as an infant); the coin predicts a career in business and the bottle someone who is “sociable.”

Right before giving Conrad his celebratory cup cake we placed a water bottle, a US Constitution and a quarter in front of him.  Conrad went straight for the coin and Slade jokingly remarked that it was a good thing that Conrad will be a businessman, because with his father in public service he’ll need someone who can take care of him in his old age!

Thank you to everybody who helped make Conrad’s first birthday so special!

A Celebration Across the Pond!

Back in Great Britain there was a very different celebration this weekend with the Diamond Jubilee marking Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne. The highlight was a spectacular seven-mile long flotilla of boats down the River Thames. A beautiful barge carried the royal family down the river and the Queen stood and waved from the deck despite the rain and chilly weather.

Just as impressive were the thousands of street parties across the country, where local communities came together to celebrate the Jubilee.

Although the Queen is much-loved in Britain, not everyone is a royalist. Even though I prefer America’s Constitutional Republic, there’s no doubt that the monarchy gives the British a sense of identity and stability. It was wonderful to see the unity and patriotism in that sea of red, white and blue, particularly with the past social tensions and the current economic struggles Britain faces.

Ten years ago I was in London for the more muted Golden Jubilee. At the time I was working as a consultant at Bain & Company in London and really enjoyed watching the Queen’s superb golden carriage pass by from the balcony of our office close to Trafalgar Square. It seemed so close that I could almost touch it and the carriage looked just like something out of a Disney movie.

People here in Washington sometimes ask if know any of the Royals.  I’ve never met the Queen, but I did once meet her husband Prince Philip. Soon after leaving high school I received the Gold “Duke of Edinburgh Award” from the Prince, for having participated in a number of volunteer and civic activities. I received the award at St. James’s Palace and I’ll never forget my mother reminding me to wear the customary hat, which seemed to be traditional! Prince Philip is famous for his public gaffes, but on this occasion we just had a polite exchange.  This weekend as I watched the news clips of the Queen and him at the Jubilee celebrations I thought back to how nervous I was that day.

Question of the Week

“Did you get Conrad any special gifts for his 1st birthday this week?” –  Tina, Spokane

We’re so excited that Conrad is turning one this week!

Michael and I have bought him a small Radio Flyer wagon and a set of wooden blocks. Michael had a similar wagon as a child and told me that “it’s never too soon to get your first Radio Flyer wagon!”

Not wanting Conrad to be spoiled, we didn’t want to get him too many gifts, but he is definitely enjoying the wooden rocking horse my parents sent from England. Those of you who were there when we gave it to him at the convention know that it was a big hit!